May 11, 2009 weblog
Ground Control to Major Tom: London ISA Catches Speeders
An Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) system is being tested by the London for Transport (TfL). The eye-in-the-sky ISA system relies on a computer installed in the vehicle with pre-loaded speed limit road data that is monitored from a satellite. Initially, the test run will be limited to a cab, public buses and government cars overseen by the TfL. Testing will begin this Summer and run for six months.
The installed ISA unit looks like a bright colored car GPS system and operates as a local GPS by reading its own data and calculates the speed and determines a course of action. The ISA differs from a standard GPS insofar as it has various mode alerts. An Orwellian "voluntary mode" essentially takes over the throttle and reduces your gas until you get the hint and slow down. The "advisory mode" appears on your dash unit and tells you to slow down and gives you a smiley face in anticipation of your compliance. Spooky?
According to the Daily Mail reporter Paul Sims, the ISA system if implemented in the private sector will tack on an additional 500GBP or approximately $700 to the cost of a car. The TfL believes the technology could reduce traffic accidents by some 10-percent. If the trial run pans out, ISA could render speed cameras at intersections obsolete.
As one might imagine some Londoners are not thrilled at all with the intrusion over their driving habits. According to a spokesperson for road safety in London, 'some hate it, some want it. Many have questions that will be answered only by trials like those being carried out by TSL.' One critic thinks the system will stop drivers from thinking.
The ISA system was funded by the TfL and manufactured by a London division of Technolution a Dutch firm. The results of the TfL testing will be available in approximately one-year.
Via Daily Mail
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