All too often, excessive speed is the primary factor when it comes to traffic accidents. We as a society have come to believe that time is more important than safety and because of that, we sometimes risk life and limb to shave seconds off of travel time. A company called Transport for London, based in the UK, is now testing a system that will stop this risk taking, and plans on offering the system to the public in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities.
The idea began as a way to prevent taxis, busses, and government owned vehicles from surpassing the speed limit. The first step was to develop a way to determine the posted speed limit in the vicinity of the vehicle and also to determine the current speed of the vehicle. From there, a computer can then determine if the car needs to be slowed back down to the posted limit, or if the vehicle needs to be electronically speed limited.
Of course the system, called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), will require the vehicle to be within certain boundaries to operate. The current iteration of ISA is said to only be for use within the M25 which encircles the greater London area. However, any large city would be a prime place for the system to be installed.
The ISA system has 2 different modes in which it can operate. The first, as described above, will limit the top speed under any circumstances. The other acts as an advisory mode, displaying the legal limit for the road the vehicle is currently on and provides warnings when the limit it approached and exceeded. There is also a total override switch that will completely disable the system.
Transport for London is planning a large scale test of the system that will begin this summer and span a total of 6 months. If the system is successful, they plan on releasing it to the public immediately after the conclusion of the trail. Some of the companies are estimating that if 2 out of 3 drivers begin using the system, traffic accidents could be reduced by up to 10%, with additional drops as time goes on. There is no talk of mandating the system, but the option is always there. ISA could also serve as a way for parents to keep young drivers within the legal limits when they can't be in the vehicle to remind them.
My question to anyone who would like to answer: Would you install a speed limiting device on your vehicle and if so, how often would you use it?Green Car Congress , ITS