UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING – How mandatory smart speed limiters will work from 2022

A text recently adopted by the European Union provides that all new car models that will be sold from July 1, 2022 will be equipped with an “intelligent speed adaptation system”. Explanations.

What if your car automatically makes you slow down? This is what is on the horizon with the implementation in Europe from 2022 of speed “super-limiters”, as they have been dubbed. our colleagues from Caradisiac. How does this equipment work, which must be fitted to all new vehicle models from next year?

• What is a “super speed limiter”?

Small step back to start. In 2019, we learned of the implementation in 2022 of an “intelligent speed adaptation system preventing the driver from speeding”. The text was finally adopted last June and published in the official journal of the European Union of 17 November. In this text, we now speak of the “Intelligent Speed ​​Adaptation System” (AIV), or, in English ISA (for Intelligent Speed Assistance).

Concretely, the vehicle must be able to know the speed limit in force on the axis it takes and alert the driver in case of overtaking. This will be done either via cameras capable of recognizing speed limit signs installed on the vehicle, or via map data from the on-board GPS. If it does not, geolocation (and therefore the limitation in force) can be established via the SIM card and the GPS beacon of the emergency call system in the event of an accident, the e-Call, mandatory since 2018 on all new homologated models sold in the Union, specifies Caradisiac.

“Systems combining a camera system, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and up-to-date digital maps are considered to be the most efficient and reliable in real life,” said the text of this European law.

• How will the driver be alerted when he exceeds the authorized speed?

In many models, drivers are already regularly warned when they speed up. Indeed, the speed display is often coupled with that of the limitation in force on the axis taken. When the driver exceeds this limit, a beep sounds or a flashing alert, or in red appears, to avoid being flashed by a radar. But this device often depends on the level of equipment of the vehicle, also on its age.

Now, with the new European regulations, the car will have to warn you that you exceed the limit. Clearly, the limiter and the warning will no longer be “options”. The law thus mentions an alert in several forms.

For example, a visual warning (a warning light on the dashboard for example) could be associated with a “cascaded acoustic warning” (an increasingly insistent audible signal, such as when you forget to fasten your seat belt) .

A “cascaded haptic warning” (an increasingly insistent vibration in the steering wheel), whether or not associated with the visual warning, is also mentioned.

• Will the speed limiter automatically reduce vehicle speed?

This is undoubtedly the point that raises the most questions in this new European standard: will the vehicle make me slow down automatically if it detects that I am not reacting to alerts?

A priori yes, but only in the precise case where the driver has his cruise control engaged (a device increasingly associated with the limiter), if we are to believe the text of the law, and that it is not pressing the accelerator pedal.

“The system shall attempt to automatically reduce driving speed to or below the perceived speed limit, for example by disengaging or reducing engine power, or by giving a visual warning and a cascaded acoustic warning.” , can we read in this regulation.

This precision is important because an unjustified decrease in the speed of the vehicle, in the event of an error in reading a panel for example, could give rise to an inappropriate slowing down, potentially dangerous for the occupants of the vehicle but also for those of the surrounding vehicles. .

This scenario is also anticipated by legislators who note that “ISA systems may be confronted with ambiguous information concerning speed due to the absence, deterioration, manipulation or any other alteration of traffic signs. , incorrect placement of signs, adverse weather conditions or non-harmonized, complicated and implied speed limits “.

The ball is therefore in the court of the R&D departments of manufacturers and equipment suppliers in order to reduce these failures as much as possible, by offering the most reliable technical solutions. The ball will then pass into the court of the sales departments in order to properly explain its operation to the driver. As with automatic emergency braking, which has recently become compulsory.

Europe also specifies in the text of the law that “the basic principle should be that the driver is always responsible for complying with the applicable traffic rules and that the ISA system is a driver assistance system making it possible to alert the driver, whenever possible and appropriate “.

It should be noted that such a function having a direct action on the speed is moreover already proposed in certain vehicles (see our tests of Volkswagen Arteon, Ford Puma or Kia XCeed), this is called a predictive or intelligent adaptive cruise control, capable of decelerating (but also of accelerating), in the event of a change in speed limit.

In the event of a misinterpretation of a panel, the initiative of the vehicle may be surprising, even if the deceleration speed remains limited, which will not give rise to sudden braking. And action by the driver on the brake or accelerator quickly regains control.

• Will the driver be able to deactivate the limiter?

The system can be deactivated each time the vehicle is started, says Caradisiac, but a priori reactivated automatically with each new use to encourage motorists to use it.

• When will this new limiter be in place?

The new European regulation must apply from July 6, 2022 on all new approved models. New cars already on sale before this date are not affected but must be in July 2024. Vehicles already in circulation before this date must not be fitted with specific equipment.

This initiative is part of the “Vision Zero” policy of the European Union, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of road deaths on the continent to almost zero. First step: halve the number of dead and seriously injured by 2030. In 2020, the Union of 27 counted 18,800 deaths on its roads, down 17% from 2019, but with greatly reduced travel due to the covid pandemic.

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