European vehicle speed limiter announcement

Posted on: 28/03/2019

EU institutions have reached an agreement on a series of measures targeted at reducing the number, impact and severity of road accidents.

Comment from George Filip, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, KTN

A total of 15 new road safety rules has been approved by the EU in order to safeguard passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The most controversial rule is looking into automatically limiting the speed of vehicles.  In the next three years, vehicles will be fitted with technology able to detect speed limits, sound an alarm if the vehicle goes over it and then slow down automatically if that speed limit is exceeded. Other safety features to be made mandatory from 2022 include automated emergency braking, electronic data recorders and drowsiness/alcohol detection.

Each year 25,000 people lose their lives on EU as a result of traffic accidents (European Commission).  Not surprisingly, the Department for Transport and the Vehicle Certification Agency have announced that the rules will be mirrored in the UK.  The package of measures needs to be ratified by the European parliament, which is likely by September and the UK’s adoption of these safety features will not be affected by Brexit. These new rules are expected to start being implemented in all new vehicles from 2022.

One company, Volvo, the car manufacturer that gave us the seatbelt, has already announced that all its new vehicles will be limited to a maximum speed of 112 MPH while also expecting them to be automatically limited in certain areas such as near schools.


How does speed limiting work?
The speed limiter device will use GPS data and sign recognition cameras to detect speed limits where the car is travelling and then will sound a warning and automatically slow the vehicle down if it is exceeding the limit.  Drivers will be able to override the limiter, allowing for speeding up in situations where that is the safer course of action.


We are experiencing a general trend of increased, gradual, automation in our vehicles meant to enhance the safety and security of both vehicle occupants and bystanders.  It is hoped that the new measures will result in a significant decrease in the accident figures.

The move by governmental agencies and car manufacturers to introduce measures such as speed limitation represents tremendous opportunity for UK companies operating in this sector.  Increased digitalisation and technology on board our vehicles provide a route, if implemented correctly, to save lives, improve traffic and reduce emissions.

The UK is a global leader in the Connected and Automated Vehicles space and can take the lead in the new market opportunities that will emerge as a result of such rules being implemented. The testing and development of connected and highly automated vehicles has been happening on UK roads for a number of years, being spurred on by Government funding through CCAV (Centre for Connected and Automated Vehicles).

KTN has strong expertise in autonomous vehicles and transport, aiming to create and promote new knowledge and knowledge transfer in the area of CAVs, helping to boost UK business and economic growth.  You can find out more here and connect with me here.

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