EU aims to put speed limit technology on cars

EU aims to put speed limit technology on cars
In this May 15, 2013 file photo a traffic sign indicating a speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph) is pictured at the highway A59 close to Troisdorf, Germany. European Union officials have struck a provisional political deal to require new safety features on autos that would include technology to keep cars within legal speed limits. So-called intelligent speed assistance recognizes the prevailing speed laws on a stretch of road using mapping systems and limits engine power to help the driver avoid speeding. (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP, file)

The European Union is moving to require cars and trucks to have technology that would deter speeding as well as data recorders to document the circumstances of accidents.

Those are among the safety features included in a provisional agreement announced Wednesday by the EU's executive commission.

The package would force vehicles to have so-called intelligent speed assistance, which recognizes speed limits using mapping systems and help drivers observe them by restricting engine power. The driver can override the system by pushing harder on the gas pedal. Earlier versions of the measure envisioned a system that could not be overridden, but that was changed.

The onboard data recorder would further deter speeding by registering the car's speed.

"Every year 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads," said Elzbieta Bienkowska, the European Commissioner responsible for internal market and industry. "We can and must act to change this."

The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-country EU, said that the features would be required on all vehicles on European roads from 2022.

The other safety features would include systems to warn drivers if they seem drowsy and against distractions such as smartphone use. Cameras and sensors would be required to avoid accidents while backing up and to help keep a car in a lane. For cars and vans, the deal requires advanced emergency braking, which can detect obstacles and push the brake pedal if the driver does not responds in time.

And another system would help bus and truck drivers avoid hitting cyclists in their so-called blind spots. Although properly adjusted mirrors should allow truck drivers to see to the side, Germany's transport ministry has pushed for the measure to reduce deaths of cyclists and pedestrians.

Much of the technology already exists and is available on more expensive cars.

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association welcomed the EU's agreement but said vehicle technology needed to be supplemented with better road infrastructure and measures to encourage safer driver behavior.

"This challenging piece of legislation will no doubt be instrumental in further improving road safety - something all auto makers are fully committed to," said ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert. "At the same time vehicle technology alone will not be sufficient. For maximum effect, policy makers must now push for a fully integrated approach to road safety; combining vehicle technology with better road infrastructure and safer driver behavior."

The association warned in December that intelligent speed assistance should be introduced only gradually. It said the technology was hampered by too many false readings due to out-of-date maps and poor sign visibility.

The measures announced Wednesday were agreed on in negotiations between European national governments, the commission, and the European parliament. The provision political agreement is subject to formal approval by the European parliament and EU leaders.


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EU officials approve speed limit technology for autos

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Mar 27, 2019
If this relies on GPS or similar, it could be horribly vulnerable to hacking or munging. A hundred metres offset may suddenly take apparent location from eg 120 kph route to a 20 kph side-road. Brakes slam on, chaos ensues...

Mar 27, 2019
If this relies on GPS or similar, it could be horribly vulnerable to hacking or munging. A hundred metres offset may suddenly take apparent location from eg 120 kph route to a 20 kph side-road. Brakes slam on, chaos ensues...


Multi-path echoing causes GPS to jump around 40-50 meters anyhow, which is why it has to average over multiple seconds of time. This is not fast enough to keep track of the true location of the vehicle - car navigators take best guesses about where the car really is based on known speed and previous locations, and information such as knowing you must be on the right-hand lane in the direction of your travel.

Much of the technology already exists and is available on more expensive cars.


Because they're extra features that justify the greater price of the luxury cars, like electric seats or individual climate controls. In cheaper cars, they simply inflate the price of the vehicle beyond its target demographic.

Mar 27, 2019
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association I'm sure loves the new regulation because:

1) Manufacturers without these technologies and capabilities in-house will have to buy them from manufacturers with the technologies, reducing competition on the market

2) Every piece of technology they integrate into cars lets them justify greater prices, and if the consumers have to buy particular technologies, they all stand to make more money - what, did you think they'd just toss them in pro bono?

Whether the system actually does anything is completely irrelevant. Statistics even show that speed isn't the main killer - it's unexpected road conditions combined with too much speed for -that- situation. I.e. if you're on cruise control according to the road speed limit, you'll still crash - especially if you trust the speed limit to be safe without a doubt.

The system can easily induce more accidents by people basically driving against the limiter by default.

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