INTELLIGENT SPEED ADAPTION
100. Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) is a system
by which the vehicle 'knows' the permitted or recommended speed
for a road. The standard system "uses an in-vehicle digital
road map onto which speed limits have been coded, combined with
a [satellite] positioning system".
The system can be advisory, voluntary (the driver can allow the
system to determine the speed or not) or mandatory (ie the driver
cannot override the system which controls the car). ISA can inform
the vehicle of the posted speed limits or could be variable (additional
limits are introduced at danger spots such as dangerous corners)
or dynamic (dynamic refers to a system which responds to road
conditions rather than just the posted speed limit; eg. implementing
lower speed limits to take account of weather, proximity to schools
101. Dr Carsten informed the Committee of the findings
of the External Vehicle Speed Control Project, which took place
from 1997 to 2000. The study included using a driving simulator,
road trials, computer models and interviews with volunteers. The
road trials "required volunteer drivers to drive a predetermined
route in a car equipped with an ISA system". The mandatory
dynamic system was most effective, predicted to reduce fatal accidents
by 59%. Predictions from a study in Sweden were similar. The voluntary
system, however, was preferred by drivers because it gave them
greater control. Cost/benefit analysis showed massive advantages
in ISA. The Project proposed that a mandatory system be the ultimate
objective, which it suggested could be in place by 2019.
A new project began in 2001. Its prime objective "is to place
20 ISA passenger cars on the road with four groups of volunteers
for...six months at a time and to measures any changes in their
102. There were differing opinions about how ISA
should be applied, but general agreement that its development
should be encouraged.
The AA supported the Government's programme, but opposed its early
use in a mandatory form.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders noted that further
development had the potential to improve road safety, but added
that they remained at an early stage and there were significant
technical and legal issues to be overcome.
It should develop from being a voluntary aid before it can be
proposed in a mandatory form.
103. The External Vehicle Control Project set out
a timetable for the implementation of ISA. This included:
- mandatory fitting on vehicles within the European
Union by 2013;
- voluntary use between 2013 and 2019; and
- potentially mandatory usage from 2019.
Dr Carsten argued that regardless of whether ISA
was eventually made mandatory it was important to be in a position
to use ISA in some form or other.
He made a number of recommendations to this end. They were supported
by several other witnesses.
In the long run Intelligent Speed Adaption offers the opportunity
to put an end to illegal and inappropriate speed. The Government
should strongly support this technology by:
- continuing to fund research, including the projected
trials from 2002 to 2006;
- encouraging voluntary adoption by fleet managers
and providing tax incentives to those who do;
- establishing a Europe-wide requirement that
all new vehicles sold from 2013 should have an ISA capability;
- fund the development of a digital road map to
ensure that the information needed to make ISA successful is easily