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New cars sold in the EU now have to have automatic speed-limiting tech fitted. Will the UK follow suit?

By Tom Gibson | July 6, 2022


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As of today (6th July 2022) all newly launched models – as in those not already for sale in dealerships - sold in EU countries will need to have Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems installed as standard.

New cars sold in the EU now have to have automatic speed-limiting tech fitted. Will the UK follow suit?

Models that are already in showrooms for sale will need to have the technology retrofitted to them by 7th July 2024.

Supporters of the ISA systems believe the regulation will actually speed up average journey times as they claim increased collective speed leads to an increase in accidents and therefore blockages.

In fact, experts say for every 1 per cent increase in speed results in a 4 per cent rise in fatal crashes.

It’s also believed that by automatically slowing cars down as they approach busy roads, road traffic managers will be able to keep cars moving steadily and therefore reduce the collective time spent on a journey.

What are the concerns?

Many motorists are concerned that this will ultimately lead to a decreased amount of control for the driver behind the wheel.

While the European Commission in its guidance has said that the system can be 'smoothly overridden', it’s believed drivers can only override the ISA system by depressing the accelerator beyond the system's limit, raising concerns over the responsiveness of both the driver and the technology in an emergency.  

Another potential issue is that ISA could lead to drivers becoming more reliant on the technology and less aware of their surroundings and further concerns have been raised about how the tech will cope with inconsistent road furniture, signage and GPS signals. 

Will the UK follow suit?

In the short term, it’s expected that the UK government – at least in its current format – won’t adopt the same rulings just yet as it doesn’t want to be seen following EU governance. We’ll let you know when and if that changes.

Can Intelligent Speed Assistance be turned off and overridden?

Under the EU's new regulation, ISA can be turned off by the driver.

That said, the system will automatically activate each time the engine is started, meaning motorists will need to switch it off at the start of every journey.

How difficult this will be is not yet clear, with no suggestion if there needs to be a single button somewhere on the dashboard or if the driver will activate and deactivate it via the options menu in an infotainment system.

However, ISA can still be overridden even when it is switched on.

If a driver pushes hard enough on the accelerator pedal, for instance to complete an overtake, then the system will allow the car to go above the permitted speed for a short amount of time before the alert system reengages.

New cars could be fitted with speed limiters that set off alarms, reduce engine power

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