Orwell Hits The Highway: Starting This Month Cars In Europe Will Have “Speed Limiters”

Starting Sunday, July 7, 2024, all new vehicles in the EU must be equipped with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems due to a new safety regulation, according to the Daily Mail. 

Although this law doesn’t apply in Britain, most vehicles sold in the UK will still have the speed-limiting technology installed by manufacturers.

As the Daily Mail explains, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology can automatically restrict a vehicle’s speed using GPS, satellite navigation, and speed-sign recognition cameras. If the vehicle exceeds the speed limit, ISA reduces engine power to comply with the legal limit. For example, on the M1, ISA can limit the car to 70 mph.

Before ISA reduces a car’s speed, it warns drivers through visual, audible, or haptic alerts, such as vibrations in the steering wheel. If ignored, the system restricts engine power to slow the car but never applies the brakes. Manufacturers may use any or all of these warning methods.

And of course chalk this brilliant idea up to big government.

In 2019, the European Parliament mandated ISA technology to reduce traffic collisions and injuries. Recommended by the European Transport Safety Council, ISA aims to cut collisions by 30% and casualties by 20%, contributing to a goal of zero road deaths by 2050.

The Daily Mail states that since July 6, 2022, all new models must have ISA, and from July 7, 2024, it must be retrofitted to all new vehicles in showrooms, including older models like the VW Touran.

Although ISA isn’t required for UK models, many new cars sold there will likely have it. Volvo has included speed limiters since 2020, capping speeds at 112 mph. Since 2022, Renault and Dacia have also implemented ISA, and brands like Citroen, Ford, and Jaguar are following suit.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) states that fitting ISA in UK cars is up to individual manufacturers. However, experts like the AA’s Jack Cousens and RAC’s Rod Dennis expect many new cars in the UK to come equipped with ISA. Safety advocates urge the UK government to adopt EU safety regulations to avoid confusion and provide certainty for car makers.

ISA can be overridden temporarily by pressing the accelerator hard or turned off before each journey, though it reactivates each time the engine starts. Benefits include fewer crashes, reduced traffic jams, and better fuel efficiency. However, there are concerns about driver reliance on ISA, the accuracy of traffic sign recognition, and potential issues in areas with poor GPS signals. 

Isn’t the government running out of things in our lives they can assert control over?



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