Speed limiters to be mandatory on new cars from 2022, but how do they work?

On By George Poland
Speed limiters to be mandatory on new cars from 2022, but how do they work?

Mandatory intelligent speed limiters and data loggers are to be fitted on all new cars from 2022 after approval by the European Parliament. The UK will follow suit with these regulations despite leaving the EU.

Car manufacturers are already making moves by making vehicles with speed caps, such as Volvo’s 112mph limit, however this may not apply for performance models.

The intelligent speed limiter has already proven to be a handy feature in our cars and now looks set for widespread use – so how do they work?

First of all, there are two types of speed limiter. One is adjustable and the other is intelligent or more formally called an ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance' (ISA).

Adjustable speed limiters are more common and can be set manually by the driver and need changing when the speed limit changes.

ISAs are smarter by using GPS data and sometimes traffic recognition cameras to determine the speed limit of the road that you are driving on. The engine power of your vehicle is then limited to match this speed so that you cannot break that speed limit.

Overriding the system is still possible though by pressing hard on the throttle, although in many ISA systems this will prompt a visual and audio warning until you slow down.

Speed limiting systems can be quite complex in how they calculate and operate, but more simply put, sensors on your car can measure the speed of the vehicle which is then communicated to the engine’s computer.

When your car knows you have met the pre-determined limit, the computer can restrict the flow of fuel and air to the engine, preventing the driver from exceeding the top speed.

The widespread implementation of ISAs will surely have a great impact on road safety. The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) predicts that limiters could reduce collisions by 30% and save around 25,000 lives within 15 years.

Not only will this new law increase the safety on our roads but it should also improve drivers’ fuel efficiency and see a reduction in C02 emissions.


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