Transport safety body calls for speed limiting systems on all new cars

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has urged carmakers to install full Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) on new models.

This connected car technology automatically restricts the vehicle’s speed to the local limit using speed sign recognition and GPS data.

ETSC said that several new car models launched in recent months come with speed limit information systems fitted as standard, but this is not enough.

More needs to be done to encourage installation of full ISA, which actively helps prevent the driver from speeding, the organisation stated.

According to the European Commission, field trials and driving simulator studies of ISA show positive effects on speed behaviour and point to significant safety benefits. Research has found that around one quarter of European car drivers consider a speed-limiting device like ISA to be very useful, and actual experience with ISA seems to increase acceptance.

Both Ford and Volvo launched full ISA systems last year: Ford’s Galaxy and S-Max and Volvo’s XC90 offer the system as standard.

Meanwhile, the BMW X1, Peugeot 3008/5008, Renault Scenic and Toyota Prius all display the current speed limit on the dashboard — but this is a warning-only system which requires further action from the driver to keep to the speed limit.

The Mercedes-Benz ‘Drive Pilot’ system, offered on the newly-launched E-class, can alter the speed automatically, but is only offered as an optional extra, not as standard, ETSC noted.

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, commented:

“While it’s good to see more manufacturers offering speed information in the vehicle, ISA has much more life-saving potential when the car limits the speed automatically. It’s important that the European Commission makes an overridable form of ISA mandatory on all new cars when vehicle safety rules are revised over the next year.”

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