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All new cars in Europe will be speed limited by 2022

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All new cars in Europe will be speed limited by 2022

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Europe has raised the stakes in vehicle safety and pollution by mandating speed limiters in all new cars by 2022. Cars will have to include GPS tracking and road sign recognition to control speed in all new vehicles sold from that model year. It’s a drastic step and one that I’m not sure would work here in Canada but at least they are doing something about pollution.

 
The European Parliament agreed the measures on April 2 2019. They will need to be ratified and made into law but there seems no barrier to that. The EU says it could lower fatalities by up to 20% which is good news for politicians having a hard time in their home states.
 
Volvo has already stated that it is introducing speed limiters in all its new cars. New Volvos will be limited to 112mph from next year and will also include a driver-facing camera to monitor intoxication, drowsiness and distracted driving. Whether it was going this way anyway or accelerated its program to get ahead of this EU decision is anyone’s guess but they are doing it.
 
Intelligent Speed Assist
The technology behind it is already available. Called Intelligent Speed Assist, the system uses a speed limiter tied to GPS and a camera. The GPS will use maps loaded with speed limits and the camera will be able to recognize EU road signs. It will then limit speed according to the number on the sign.
 
Some Ford vehicles already use this system and it seems to work okay. There is a camera mounted in the windshield facing forward linked to the system. It scans the road ahead for speed limit signs. When activated, Intelligent Speed Assist will recognize the speed limit and control the accelerator to meet that limit. 
 
If you hit the gas pedal, nothing happens. If you let off the gas, the engine slows as normal. When the speed limit changes, rather than braking and causing a potential hazard, the system will let off the gas and allow the car to slow gradually.
 
The current system is switchable but presumably, if this change makes it into law it won’t be. The Ford system seems to have been largely successful with only occasional road signs being missed. As Ford and other companies offering the technology will have time to refine it, Intelligent Speed Assist should be ready to help drivers keep on the right side of the law.
 
As good as the system is, I’m not sure Canadians are ready for such a thing. The idea of having a machine tell us what to do, a GPS always knowing where we are and the idea of not having full control of our vehicle is not likely to sit well with us. Time will tell though.

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