With the recent news that the EU has provisionally agreed that speed limiters will become mandatory for all vehicles in the continent by 2022, this blog post will explore what exactly speed limiters are and how they will affect your car. Whatever state Brexit will be in in a few months’ time, speed limiters will become an increasingly important part of car technology in the future.
What is a Speed Limiter?
A speed limiter is an Intelligent speed assistance (ISA) system that prevents a car from travelling over a set speed. This is not the same concept as cruise control as the car does not maintain this set speed. The driver can still use the accelerator, but the speed limiter prevents the car from going faster if the car reaches the limited speed.
How do Speed Limiters Work?
Put simply, sensors in your car detect how fast you are going, then this information is communicated to the engine’s computer. When the pre-determined speed is met, the computer restricts the flow of fuel and air to the engine. Therefore, as a driver, you will not be able to exceed the pre-determined top speed.
However, all speed limiters can be overridden. If there is a need to speed up quickly, pushing down hard on the accelerator will work. Further, it should be made clear that this system does not affect the car’s braking system.
What Types of Speed Limiter Are There?
There are two types of limiters: Adjustable and Intelligent.
Adjustable is the most common limiter and is standard in most cars. In this case, the limit is set by the driver and would need to be adjusted if the speed limit changes.
An intelligent speed assistance system is a more advanced system linking the speed limiter to a camera that spots speed limit signs. The limiter adjusts automatically when you drive into an area with a different speed limit.
Why are Speed Limiters Being Implemented?
Speed limiters are being implemented in the hope that they will revolutionise road safety. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says the limiters would reduce collisions by 30%, and save around 25,000 lives within 15 years . All vehicles in the EU would be fitted with ISA systems to stop drivers from breaking the speed limit. This relieves drivers from having to constantly check their speedometer and means you are less likely to speed and receive penalty points or fines. Moreover, it is thought that these measures will result in benefits for drivers, including higher fuel efficiency, a reduction in CO2 emissions and lower insurance premiums.
Which Cars have Speed Limiters Already?
Many recent Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Renault models already use ISA systems. Volvo will be the first manufacturer to implements ISA systems in all of their car models.
How will this affect your car?
Within three years, Intelligent Speed Assistance systems will be mandatory for all new cars. The ISA will alert the driver if they are going over the speed limit and if the driver does not choose to slow down then the car will intervene.
Despite uncertainty about Brexit and the UK’s intention to leave the EU, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) intends to continue enforcing EU regulations, making it likely that speed limiters will affect UK drivers.