European politicians have voted on a raft of mandatory safety technology in all new vehicles including “black box” recorders, automatic braking and even automatic speed limiters.
The technology will only apply to new vehicles with some measures, such as auto emergency brakes in cars, being introduced as early as next year.
New safety measures include:
- New crash testing requirements;
- Mandatory installation of driver assistance systems including Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection;
- Overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and Emergency Lane Keeping; and
- New direct vision standard for lorries and buses to enable drivers to have a better view of other road users around their vehicle.
Automatic speed limiters
The ISA system uses Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) technology which is already included in some luxury cars.
The technology uses sensors which “read” and interpret roadside traffic signs and govern the speed of automated vehicles to the posted speed limit.
They say the automatic speed limiters will be overridable so that means you can switch it off.
But we suspect that when you switch your motorcycle on, it will default to being activated just like traction control and ABS are on current vehicles fitted with these rider aids.
However, one big problem in Australia is the standard and maintenance of our roadside speed signs.
An Austroads report says our signs will have to be improved. After all, what would TSR make of signs in rural areas that have been used for target practice!
We can think of several other scenarios where interventionist technology limiting your speed could be danger.
For example, if you commit to overtaking a vehicle which then speeds up, you could be left stranded on the wrong side of the road, unable to complete the overtaking manoeuvre.