Will automed vehicles ever be rolled out in Europe?

Proposals were made last year for there to be an introduction of semi-automated features in new cars. In particular, for intelligent speed assistant, which would, according to campaigners, improve safety on the road.

The debate is currently taking place between safety advocats, representatives from the motor industry, drivers, and lawmakers. However, it’s still unclear if the new law will ever be passed. The biggest concern within the industry is that there will be backlash from drivers.

The proposals would require newly built vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). This technology used video cameras, GPS data, and sign recognition to automatically cap the speed that the vehicle is able to do by limiting its engine power.

They’re not sure if consumers will ever accept new regulations relating to automated technology, as it would mean a loss of freedom. Critics point to the idea of a “nanny state”, claiming that more state interference and restrictions would be rejected by European motorists.

But, the European Transport Safety Council has pointed out that this technology is already being used in some new vehicles. And, considering that the main cause of fatal traffic accidents in Europe is speeding, they say the change could decrease the risks to motorists. Therefore, they believe the technology should be rolled out across all new cars.

In a statement, the council note: “The technology has been boosted by the increasing use of hardware on vehicles such as GPS, front facing cameras and manual speed limiting systems. With this hardware already used by other systems on the vehicle, ISA becomes a simple matter of adding additional software.”

It’s still unclear whether the proposals will be agreed at this stage. The question is: freedom or security? The technology would save lives. But will it will be accepted by Europeans? Only time will tell.

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