Europe moved one step ahead in safety after closing a provisional deal on Strasbourg. According to the deal new safety features such as Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), to be fitted as standard on all new cars, vans, lorries and buses to be sold in Europe from 2022.
Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is a technology that limits the driver from speeding by using GPS data and traffic sign recognition to locate the vehicle and the current road speed limit. ISA can be overridden by accelerating hard, however, European Transport Safety Council has asked all the vehicles to be equipped with a switch that can turn off the ISA for a period. According to this new deal, lorries will be additionally equipped with improved levels of ‘direct vision’ that will enable the drivers to have a greater vision about vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists around the vehicle.
While acknowledging the benefits of ISA we should also keep into the accounts of the limitations of ISA. There could be a danger of obscured or inaccurate speed limits or GPS mapping can be outdated. Temporary limits and road works can confuse the system, too. Another probability of drivers adapting to the system and over-relying on it, planting their throttle to the floor in the expectation that the car will control the speed is still a threat.
Here it needs to be noted that 14% of fatal crashes are caused by over speeding while 64% of fatal crashes are due to human error. Speed limiters can be of significant importance but alone they cannot eliminate all crashes. Drivers and fleets can lead their way by specifying options.