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Safety tech risks driver freedom

2013-10-29 12:19

NEW SAFETY TECHNOLOGY: IAM chief executive Simon Best believes that if drivers were better trained there would be no need to enforce Intelligent Speed Adaptation measures. Image: GOOGLE

The European Union is considering rolling out technology in vehicles that can detect speed limits and automatically apply the brakes. Breakthrough in car safety or a disaster waiting to happen?

In September 2013, the European Union announced it was considering legislation for vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology. The system is capable of detecting limits through cameras and satellites and automatically applies the brakes. The EU was also considering pushing for rules to force existing vehicles to be retrofitted with the ISA devices.


According to research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), 75% of drivers polled are concerned that the use of ISA devices will compromise safety. Its survey also revealed that 78% of drivers don’t want ISA technology fitted to older vehicles.

As for safety concerns, 50% of respondents believe that ISAs won’t have a positive impact on road safety while 52% see a reduced likelihood of speeding convictions.

There is however overwhelming support for ISAs when drivers remain in control as 67% would prefer ISAs to operate with warning messages and retain control of their vehicle.

What about fitting devices to your child's vehicle? If enforced, 30% of drivers said ISAs should be restricted to young or newly qualified drivers as well as those with previous road-related convictions.


IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “ISAs could help to save lives but it’s clear that drivers remain dubious about the benefits of the technology. More research into the benefits would help to reassure the public that this will improve road safety.

”Unfortunately, over a third of respondents see this as a way of controlling drivers, I believe if drivers are trained properly and have access to on-going learning, the government would not need to enforce ISAs.”

Do you agree with fitting ISA technology to vehicles? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.
Read more on:    european union  |  safety  |  roads

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