The mandatory speed limiters will be fitted to all cars after the Department for Transport has confirmed regardless of whether the UK is in the European Union, the UK will follow the ruling from the EU on safety technology.
How does it work?
The technology will use traffic-sign-recognition cameras (ISA) and/or GPS information to determine speed limits in areas and will automatically limit engine power and will adapt to the speed if the driver does not slow down themselves.
If a driver continues to go above the speed limit, the new system should sound a warning for a few seconds and display a visual warning until the car is operating at or below the speed limit again. Once the car returns to or below the speed limit, the limiter would automatically reactivate.
What else is new?
The system will be introduced at the same time as other new features which include data loggers, autonomous emergency braking, reversing cameras, lane keeping assistant, driver fatigue detection and a pre-wiring for alcohol interlock devices. All models from May 2022 will have to have these new systems while previous models on the market must have them by 2024.
This approach has now been confirmed by the Department for Transport which considers the limiters a “step change in road safety across Europe, including the UK."
The DFT have also added that it expects the limiters "to give drivers feedback when the speed limit is exceeded rather than limiting the speed" however the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), advises: "If the driver does not apply the brakes [when entering a lower limit], the vehicle would in any case slow down naturally to the new speed limit by reducing engine power."
The ETSC say the limiters could reduce traffic collisions by 30 per cent and could save 25,000 lives within 15 years.
There are questions and concerns about how the data that will be collected and if this is another step toward self-driving cars of the future.