GRR

Mandatory speed limiters to be introduced to all new cars

22nd May 2024
Ethan Jupp

It’s only been a matter of months since new cars had to warn drivers when they were driving over the speed limit by regulatory mandate. As of 7th July 2024, however, that warning system will be joined by an outright speed limiter.

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The long-mooted mandatory buffers are to come on stream for all new cars, including existing unregistered examples on forecourts, which will need a retrofit before being sold on and beyond the 7th July.

What’s been branded Intelligent Speed Assistance will use latent technology in many new cars such as GPS data and traffic sign recognition to determine local limits. The car will then respond by limiting performance, in a similar way to traction and stability control, stopping the exceeding of that limit. 

Language from the Department for Transport in the UK has however suggested we’ll be getting a softer version, with ‘feedback’ on speed rather than an outright limiter.

Override possible… with a catch

Even if we do get the full implementation in the UK, you will be able to ‘push past’ the limiter with a more aggressive push of the throttle, almost like speeding up while using cruise control. However, the car will then default to the warnings we’re already seeing on cars continuously, until the car is on or below the local limit again. Switch the car off and the system will reset, with the limiter returning, too. 

Happily, there will also be an off switch, at least initially, which even regulators admit is a move to aid acceptance of the system.

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Is your privacy a worry?

So, will you still have the right to choose to speed? Yes. Will information pertaining to that choice remain under your control? In theory, yes. There have been issues in the US around the sale of data of this nature to third parties by carmakers.

Manufacturers of modern connected cars can ‘see’ things like throttle aggression, braking aggression, and speed records. They have been caught selling that data to insurers. That practice has since been rolled back by the likes of General Motors. It’s also important to note that the sharing has not yet reached a legally incriminating extent.

The fear is there, though, as the next ever-closer iteration of how authorities control and observe how we operate our cars looms. Your thoughts as always are welcome…

Images courtesy of Getty Images. 

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