Governments across Europe are putting the brakes on speeding cars with new technology.
Speed limiters are set to become mandatory for all motor vehicles sold in Europe from 2022.
The rules will apply in the UK despite Brexit, according to the Department of Transport.
In the UK, road safety charity brake praised the move, while motoring club the AA pointed out a chance to boost speed often helped drivers – especially when overtaking.
The new technology is called intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and includes a speed limiter, advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping help.
Road safety technology
The EU hopes the technology will reduce road casualties by 140,000 by 2038 and to cut road deaths to zero by 2050.
The legislation still must go before the European Parliament and Council for ratification
EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. Most of these accidents are caused by human error.
“With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.”
ISA is a combination of technologies:
- A GPS satellite sends data to the vehicle telling the driver where they are and the local speed limit
- A sign recognition camera collects roadside data to confirm the speed limit
- ISA in the car processes the data to keep the vehicle within the speed limit
However, drivers can temporarily override ISA if they wish.
System already fitted by makers
Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo already have vehicles available with some ISA technology fitted.
Work is still underway developing the sign recognition software.
The Eu is also considering other road safety features for motor vehicles, including technology warning drivers of drowsiness and an onboard black box recording data in the event of an accident.
An unforeseen consequences is the cost of motor insurance should fall as the number of accidents drops, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
AA president Edmund King said there was no doubt that new in-car technology could save lives, adding there was “a good case” for autonomous emergency braking to be fitted in all cars.
“When it comes to intelligent speed adaptation, the case is not so clear,” he said. “The best speed limiter is the driver’s right foot.”