When automated cars first hit the market, the speed limiting technology it came with some questions. But when speed-limiting technology was mandated by the European Union, it opened up many new more. The EU is planning to make speed limiters compulsory on all new cars starting in 2022. Even the UK will follow in their footsteps after Brexit. Still, there are many concerns that the EU is overstepping boundaries and that the technology may not be reliable enough yet. So, what is the science behind this technology? And how safe is it really?
The Basics of Speed Limiting Technology
This technology works by using the speed limit through GPS cameras. It takes geolocation of the roads and calculates the conditions of the traffic and applies where the other cars are to speed up or slow down. This automation creates an environment where the vehicles will drive slower and more safely while maximizing the productivity of the route and fuel. It makes sense why the EU would want cars to have speed-limiting technology, but the speed of the GPS needs to be very high, and 5G internet has not yet spread around Europe. Internet will get faster and faster, and automation will be significantly enhanced. But until then, speed limiting technology will be required in the EU, so it is essential to understand the more in-depth science involved.
How Does it Really Work?
Intelligent speed assistance, or the ISA system, is the speed limiting technology that companies are using in their automobiles. When the car’s computer uses GPS, it knows at any given point where the car is, where it will go, and uses this information to compare it to a database that maps the various speed limits on the street. The GPS satellite sends the local speed limit to the computer’s dashboard.
The car will then use sign recognition software to take photographs of the signage on the street to assess the appropriate speed. The automobile will use the information to help the driver keep the vehicles below the speed limit while taking into account traffic conditions, although is unclear whether or not this traffic-analysing technology will be up to par. But even though this technology will be mandated by European governments, will it always be on?
Flaws & Misconceptions
The car will only be as good as the database it is currently relying on. When the information is out of data or imprecise, for example, a temporary speed limit, it may not be the driver adequately informed. This is where the camera recognition software comes in. It allows the computer to respond to the variable limits and short-term restrictions. It is a reactive mechanism. A combination of both systems is vital. With technology not yet widespread, it is difficult to know how it will perform when it becomes ubiquitous.
Above all, however, the purpose of speed-limiting technology is to make the roads safer, not more dangerous. There are more myths about the speed limit, one of which being that lowering the speed will slow down traffic. Many companies, governments, and individuals alike believe in the system’s ability to make the roads more peaceful, but others are sceptical. According to the specialists at the site MoneyPug, which is used in the UK to compare car insurance, speed limiters will decrease insurance costs a lot as it spreads and becomes more effective, even if it increases costs at first due to this scepticism.
How Safe Will it Be?
According to the European Transport Safety Council, it could have significant safety benefits, potentially cutting collisions by 30 percent and deaths on the road by 20 percent. But what about the crashes and accidents that occur because the car is going too slow? Or if, conversely, a car has to speed up suddenly in a low-speed limit zone. In a school, for example, you can need to get out of the way when it car speeds in unexpectedly. The computers may still be too slow to pick up a car moving that quickly. Until all cars have speed-limiting technology, there will be mishaps. However, you look at it, speed limiting technology will spread quickly and become a part of our transportation system, but it could be faster than it should be. Mandates will help the process along, which does support the case for requiring all cars to have this technology. Only time will tell what will really happen.