Highway security: UK set to undertake car velocity limiters


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Media captionTheo Leggett: ‘The automobile introduced us to a managed halt’

Pace limiting know-how appears set to grow to be necessary for all automobiles bought in Europe from 2022, after new guidelines have been provisionally agreed by the EU.

The Division for Transport mentioned the system would additionally apply within the UK, regardless of Brexit.

Campaigners welcomed the transfer, saying it might save 1000’s of lives.

Highway security charity Brake known as it a “landmark day”, however the AA mentioned “a bit of velocity” helped with overtaking or becoming a member of motorways.

Security measures accepted by the European Fee included clever velocity help (ISA), superior emergency braking and lane-keeping know-how.

The EU says the plan may assist keep away from 140,000 severe accidents by 2038 and goals finally to chop street deaths to zero by 2050.

EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska mentioned: “Yearly, 25,000 folks lose their lives on our roads. The overwhelming majority of those accidents are attributable to human error.

“With the brand new superior security options that may grow to be necessary, we will have the identical sort of impression as when security belts have been first launched.”

What’s velocity limiting know-how and the way does it work?

Beneath the ISA system, automobiles obtain info by way of GPS and a digital map, telling the car what the velocity restrict is.

This may be mixed with a video digicam able to recognising street indicators.

The system will be overridden quickly. If a automobile is overtaking a lorry on a motorway and enters a decrease speed-limit space, the motive force can push down laborious on the accelerator to finish the manoeuvre.

The automobile won’t brake routinely when the velocity restrict is decreased, however will give the motive force a visible warning as an alternative. It’s the driver’s accountability to obey the warning.

How quickly will it grow to be obtainable?

It is already coming into use. Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo have already got fashions obtainable with a number of the ISA know-how fitted.

Nevertheless, BBC enterprise correspondent Theo Leggett says there’s concern over whether or not present know-how is sufficiently superior for the system to work successfully.

Specifically, many automobiles have already got a forward-facing digicam, however there’s a query mark over whether or not the sign-recognition know-how is as much as scratch.

Different accepted security options for European automobiles, vans, vehicles and buses embrace know-how which offers a warning of driver drowsiness and distraction, corresponding to when utilizing a smartphone whereas driving, and a knowledge recorder in case of an accident.

The brand new measures additionally embrace enhancements to the direct imaginative and prescient of bus and truck drivers and the removing of blind spots.

How has the concept been obtained?

The transfer was welcomed by the European Transport Security Council, an impartial physique which advises Brussels on transport security issues.

However it mentioned it may very well be a number of months earlier than the European Parliament and Council formally approve the measures.

UK statistics present greater than 1,700 individuals are killed on UK roads yearly, whereas Brake says velocity is a contributory think about a couple of quarter of all deadly crashes.

Brake’s campaigns director, Joshua Harris, mentioned: “It is a landmark day for street security.

“These measures will present the most important leap ahead for street security this century.”

The UK’s Division for Transport mentioned: “We repeatedly work with companions throughout the globe to enhance the protection requirements of all automobiles. These interventions are anticipated to ship a step-change in street security throughout Europe, together with the UK.”

What do critics say?

The AA thinks the system may need the unintended consequence of constructing drivers extra reckless, not much less.

AA president Edmund King mentioned there was little question that new in-car know-how may save lives, including there was “a very good case” for autonomous emergency braking to be fitted in all automobiles.

“Relating to clever velocity adaptation, the case just isn’t so clear,” he mentioned. “One of the best velocity limiter is the motive force’s proper foot.

“The correct velocity is commonly under the velocity restrict – for instance, outdoors a college with youngsters about – however with ISA, there could also be a temptation to go on the high velocity allowed.”

Mr King added: “Dodgem automobiles are all fitted with velocity limiters, however they nonetheless appear to crash.”

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