It seems that politicians believe driver training or road maintenance won't improve anytime soon, so instead they want to limit your car's engine power to make sure you don't break the speed limit while robots determine whether you're fit to drive in the first place. At least that's the proposed plan in Europe starting in May, 2022.
Backed by Members of the European Parliament, the European Transport and Safety Council says its new mandatory systems "will reduce collisions by 30 percent and save 25,000 lives within 15 years of being introduced." And so just days after Volvo announced it will introduce driver-facing cameras and limit all its cars to 112 mph, the EU followed up with its own Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system. Which includes:
- GPS and/or traffic sign recognition to determine the speed limit of the road, with your car adjusting its engine power accordingly. Granted, the ETSC says that initially, the system will switch off once you floor the gas, mostly "to aid public acceptance at introduction."
- Data loggers. When, where, how fast. And the data available to whom?
- Advanced autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist.
- Reversing cameras.
- Camera-based driver fatigue detection.
- Alcohol interlock installation facilitation. A breathalyzer?
- Emergency stop signal.
As points out, pressing the pedal to floor won't get rid of your new nannies. The ETSC says that "if the driver continues to drive above the speed limit for several seconds, the system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the vehicle is operating at or below the speed limit again." Beep-beep. Beep-beep-beep-beep!
While these measures are subject to the formal approval of the European Parliament and EU member states in September, the European Commission has already approved the legislation, which means it should come into effect from May 2022 for all new models that haven’t been designed yet, and May 2024 for facelifted models.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the went as far as comparing this step to the mandatory introduction of the seatbelt, and the EU's first minimum crash safety standards of 1998.