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EU is left behind by NYC’s speed limiter experiment

speed limiter

Why Europe makes mistakes

The City of New York revealed a ground-breaking solution to the speeding issue late last week: speed limiters. It’s a first for the city and a significant improvement over initiatives launched this year across Europe.

50 city fleet vehicles are equipped with active intelligent speed assistance (ISA), which limits a vehicle’s top speed and prevents it from going over the posted speed limit, as part of a new six-month pilot programme.

If the vehicle is a success, the City of New York will expand it to include all 30,000 of its vehicles, which are distributed among 60 agencies and include passenger cars, fire trucks, police cars, garbage trucks, and street pavers. However, Mayor Adams made it clear that his personal vehicle and emergency vehicles are exempt from the technology during the launch event, saying, “However, how my vehicles are employed is regulated by the polices department dealing with the safety apparatus. That judgement is rendered by them.

How does a speed limiter operate and what does it do?

speed limiter

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A speed limiter, also known as an speed governor or an Intelligent Speed Assistant, is a device used to control a vehicle’s speed up to a predetermined limit.

Intelligent Speed Assistant acting passively

Intelligent Speed Assistants can recognise speed signs using traffic-sign recognition cameras or a GPS map-linked system. If the drivers exceeds the speed limit, the system warns them, and in the case of active systems, if they don’t slow down, it limits the engine’s torque, lowering the speed of the vehicle.

ISAs: Active vs. Passive

ISA is available in both active and passive modalities.

With the active system, the ISA technology activates and automatically slows down the vehicle whenever the driver of a fleet vehicle tries to exceed the posted speed limit.

As an alternative, the passive system warns motorists when they exceed the speed limit.

Wait, don’t e-bikes and e-scooters already have speed limiters?

speed limiter

ebike and scooter owned by Bird. Photo: Bird

They do. Hire plan Operators of escooters can currently control speed. For instance, most riders begin at a slower speed in novice mode.

Additionally, there are differences based on the place and time of day. In Paris, scooters are limited to travelling at 10 kmph (6 mph) close to tourist attractions, while a trial in London has set a 19.3 kmph speed limit (12.5mph).

The London trial also includes “no-go zones” where electric scooters must completely halt, as well as “Slow Speed Zones” where they must automatically slow down to 12.8 kph (kilometres per hour) (8mph).

The categorization of the type of bike determines the speed limitations for ebikes in the US and Europe; see this page for more information. It’s important to remember that an ebike’s speed limiter can be removed, albeit doing so is not recommended.

So why is it not a standard thing in all cars?

It’s on the way. All new vehicles must feature an Intelligent Speed Assistance limiter, according to EU regulation that was passed in 2019. Despite opposition from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, this is the case.

All new-model cars, vans, trucks, and buses in Europe must have ISAs as of July 2022. OEMs will be required to install an ISA system in every new vehicle sold in the EU starting in July 2024.

This involves including a driving-related event data recorder. In the case of an accident, the information may reveal whether a driver was manually disabling the speed limiter.

No legal action has been taken to make ISA required in US vehicles. However, many automakers have made them available as a part of their more comprehensive ADAS packages.

already in place Trucks with gas engines have speed limiters to help cut carbon emissions. A speed limiter can also assist save gasoline expenses because driving fast increases fuel consumption.

Additionally, active ISAs may be able to lessen the effects of vehicle ramming in densely populated urban locations, such as city centres and during parades and markets.

There is a drawback, though.

Sadly, the EU’s speed limiters are not too restrictive.

Passive speed limiters have been chosen by EU regulators. These notify the driver of the posted speed limit and when it has been exceeded, either visually or vocally. The driver has the options to manually override the system because they do not automatically slow down the vehicle.

The European Transport Safety Council has emphasised numerous times that drivers have a propensity to disengage the speed limiter when they hear an audio warning. It claims that the only reliable speed limiters are “haptic feedback,” which employs greater force feedback on the accelerator control or engine decrease.

Additionally, according to HERE Technologies, ISA systems that merely rely on onboard cameras to extract speed restrictions from signs might not be able to pass the ISA regulation test requirements. Many speed limits are not properly stated, and signs can be visually covered.

So even if ISAs are not widely used in the US, the City of New York’s trial slows down speed more than the EU’s ineffective measures. With their active speed limiters, escooters in Europe are even more restricted than cars! And that makes me feel really uncomfortable.

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