How can we keep our roads safe?
Well, the answer may lie with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) tech, which will now be fitted into all new vehicles on the market in EU countries.
ISA tech uses GPS, sat-nav and cameras to identify the legal speed limit and will warn drivers to slow down if needed. If they fail to do so, the car can restrict engine power to reduce their speed.
This tech is being introduced as part of new EU safety regulations, which include different measures designed to improve road safety. Other measures include driver drowsiness warning systems, emergency stop signals, accurate tyre pressure monitoring and event data ‘blackbox’ recorders.
According to a European safety council, these safety regulations will reduce traffic collisions by 30% and casualties by 20%. It will also help EU countries achieve their target of zero road deaths by 2050, as well as cutting journey times.
All new cars, vans and lorries are now going to be fitted with this tech, but for ‘new’ models already in showrooms, manufacturers will need to have the automatic speed-limiting systems installed from 7 July 2024.
Despite the UK no longer being a member of the EU, experts say ISA tech could also be making its way to the UK, where one in six fatal collisions in 2020 was caused by drivers exceeding speed limits.
Dan Powell, senior editor at CarSit, said: “Many cars in the UK are built to EU spec and this means the technology will be fitted and enabled, regardless if it’s mandatory here or not.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, points out that some makers – including Ford, Jaguar, and Volvo – are already offering these technologies in UK-supplied cars.
“The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but action to improve our record still further should be welcomed,” he said.
The Department for Transport (DfT), however, says it is still assessing the regulation’s technologies, including ISA, and isn’t planning on introducing any of them yet.
A spokesperson for the DfT told This is Money: “The package of European measures known as the General Safety Regulation will not come into effect from July in Great Britain.
“No decision has yet been taken on which elements of the package will be implemented in Great Britain.”