(qlmbusinessnews.com Mon. 1st July, 2024) London, UK —

“Speed Limiters to Become Mandatory on All New UK Cars from July 2024”

Starting 7 July 2024, all new vehicles sold in the United Kingdom and Europe will be required to have mandatory speed limiters installed. This initiative aims to keep cars within speed limits and enhance road safety. Despite Brexit, the UK will adopt these regulations, which align with the European Commission's 2019/2044 mandate.

Implementation and Compliance

Under the new rules, any new cars entering the European market, including the UK, must feature Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology by the deadline. This includes retrofitting any existing unregistered cars with speed limiters before they can be sold. The European Commission's legislation, which has mandated speed limiters for new vehicles sold in Europe since 6 July 2022, is the foundation of this requirement.

The UK's adherence to these regulations, despite leaving the EU, underscores a commitment to retaining most EU laws for new cars, ensuring standardised manufacturing processes across different markets. Successfully implementing speed limiters will also be a significant step towards developing self-driving cars in the UK.

Speed Limiter Rule for UK Cars

Understanding Speed Limiters

A speed limiter is a device that prevents a vehicle from exceeding a predetermined speed. Unlike cruise control, which maintains a constant speed, a speed limiter allows normal acceleration and deceleration but ensures the vehicle does not surpass the set limit.

The purpose of a speed limiter is to act as a warning system to help drivers avoid accidental speeding, enhancing overall road safety. It uses GPS data and traffic-sign-recognition cameras to determine the maximum speed allowed in an area, adjusting the vehicle's speed accordingly. If the speed limit is exceeded, the system sends haptic, audio, and visual warnings to the driver. The system can be temporarily overridden by pressing hard on the accelerator, but it will reactivate each time the car is started.

Manufacturers such as Citroen, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo have already begun integrating ISA technology into some of their models. Renault Group, for instance, has limited the top speed of all new Renault and Citroen cars to 112 mph to further promote safety.

Addressing Concerns and Challenges

There are concerns about the effectiveness and reliability of current speed limiter technology. Issues such as traffic-sign recognition cameras being confused by motorway conditions, obscured road signs, or inadequate infrastructure could impair the system's functionality. Instances have been reported where navigation systems mistakenly read speed limits from adjacent roads or slip roads, leading to incorrect speed adjustments.

To mitigate these issues, the regulation provides manufacturers with four options for alerting drivers when they are speeding:

1. Gentle push-back on the accelerator pedal.
2. Automatic reduction of propulsion power, which can be overridden.
3. Visual signals followed by audio cues if ignored.
4. Visual cues followed by pedal vibrations, with signals timing out if ignored.

The effectiveness of these alerts will be evaluated in December 2025 using anonymous data on system usage and overrides.

Despite these concerns, the European Commission emphasizes that the driver remains responsible for adhering to traffic laws, with the ISA acting as a supplementary assistance system to prevent momentary lapses of concentration that could result in speeding.

Impact on Road Safety

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) predicts that mandatory speed limiters could reduce collisions by 30%. The European Commission projects that this technology, along with other legislative measures, could prevent 140,000 serious road traffic injuries by 2038 and aims to reduce road deaths to zero by 2050.

In the UK, where the national speed limit for cars is 70 mph on motorways and dual-carriageways, and 60 mph on single carriageways, ensuring adherence to legal speed limits is crucial. A report by Gov.uk revealed 1,711 fatalities and 29,742 serious injuries due to road collisions in 2022, highlighting the need for enhanced road safety measures.

Additional Safety Measures

The new EU regulations also mandate other safety features, including:

– Autonomous emergency braking
– Data loggers (black box technology)
– Emergency stop signals
– Driver fatigue detection systems
– Lane-keep assist
– Built-in breathalysers preventing the car from starting if the driver fails
– Reversing sensors or cameras

Many of these systems are already standard in cars sold in the UK, with autonomous emergency braking required for a car to achieve a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety crash tests.

Overall, the introduction of mandatory speed limiters and additional safety measures represents a significant step towards improving road safety and reducing accidents across the UK and Europe.

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