We spotted an interesting story in the Backhouse Jones newsletter this month, discussing the issue of ISA or Intelligent Speed Assistance.
In the article they said that ‘To the surprise of some, the Department of Transport for the United Kingdom recently announced that (despite BREXIT) it would be replicating or adopting the recent vehicle safety rules provisionally agreed by the European Union, set to become mandatory for all vehicles sold by 2022. The technology to which the rules refer, the Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), is accompanied by further emergency braking and lane-keeping technology.
What is ISA?
Under the ISA system, cars are fitted with navigational systems, such as GPS, and receive information regarding the speed limit for the area they are driving through. There can also be an added element of a forward-facing video camera, capable of recognising road signage. Having received the relevant information, the ISA technology prevents a vehicle from driving above the speed limit for prolonged periods in that area.
Fans and enthusiasts of performance vehicles may be averse to the idea of technology stepping in when they exceed the speed limit, however there is the ability to override the technology – briefly. If a motorist needs to overtake a lorry or other form of heavy vehicle, then by pressing down hard on the accelerator, they can temporarily disengage the ISA system.
With this in mind, there is argument to suggest that the whole system is redundant, and that motorists will tear up the roads by smashing their right foot through the car floor. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Under the new rules, all vehicles will also be fitted with compulsory data recorders, colloquially referred to as ‘black boxes.’ This device will be able to register when and how often a driver disables their ISA system as well as what speed they were travelling. If the driver in question is involved in an accident, then the police and the insurers will be able to work out whether a car was driving over the speed limit and whether its ISA technology had been overridden.
Motorists who are caught doing so are not likely going to get off lightly.
This ISA technology is already being installed in vehicles, in preparation of the EU going forward with the plans. It is already available in certain models of Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo. The fact that manufacturers have already begun preparing for this these rules suggest that it’s not a direction in which the EU or the UK (regardless of Brexit) will turn back from.
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