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Transportation EU

EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters 732

Posted by samzenpus
from the slow-down dept.
schwit1 points out a new EU road safety measure to fit cars with devices that would stop them going over 70mph. "Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded. Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, is said to be opposed to the plans, which could also mean existing cars are sent to garages to be fitted with the speed limiters, preventing them from going over 70mph. The new measures have been announced by the European Commission's Mobility and Transport Department as a measure to reduce the 30,000 people who die on the roads in Europe every year. A Government source told the Mail on Sunday Mr McLoughlin had instructed officials to block the move because they 'violated' motorists' freedom. They said: 'This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people's backs up about Brussels.'"
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EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters

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  • No need for cameras. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:21PM (#44732609)

    My Navigator knows the speed limit and gongs if I pass it, why not just link it with the maximum speed of the cruise control in the same fucking computer?

    I'd pay for that, since it would save me many tickets.

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:28PM (#44732651)

      When I was in Holland last year, we had a car with a GPS and speed limit display. Only problem was, if you were on a main highway and passed over a local road, the speed limit would often switch to something like 50km/h as it briefly became confused about which road you were on.

      Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

      But the speed limit signs really make no more sense, since they can trivially be 'hacked'; I've seen local kids in Britain turn speed limit signs around for grins, so you'd end up with a sixty mph limit in the town and a thirty on the road leading out of town.

      All in all, it's a really stupid idea. Which is what you'd expect from the EU.

      • by Ichijo (607641) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:18PM (#44733011) Homepage Journal

        Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

        They should also fit cars with proximity sensors that automatically apply the brakes when you get too close to the car in front. Then if that car brakes, whether it's because of the glitch you describe or any other reason, you'll have enough time to brake to avoid a collision.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01, 2013 @08:38PM (#44734413)

          Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

          They should also fit cars with proximity sensors that automatically apply the brakes when you get too close to the car in front. Then if that car brakes, whether it's because of the glitch you describe or any other reason, you'll have enough time to brake to avoid a collision.

          Or you could just quit tailgating the car in front of you and you will always have plenty of time to avoid
          a collision with the car in front of you, with no additional technology required.

        • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday September 02, 2013 @03:34AM (#44736713) Journal

          They should also fit cars with proximity sensors that automatically apply the brakes when you get too close to the car in front.

          I'm not sure that would work. To get some things out the way:

          I currently live in England whish is blessed with some of the safest roads in the world. I'm going to assume you're American, since most people are here. The English road test is very, very much harder than the various US ones. Compared to some, (i.e. big, empty states like NM) the difference is laughable. On average people fail between 1 and 2 times before finally passing.

          I'm not making any particular point except about the test. It's necessary since England is so much more crowded and has on average much more crowded roads.

          And that's the thing. Once you get on a busy motorway, it is still terrifing to anyone with an understanding of, e.g. physics. There's usually about a 1 second gap between all cars. There is nothing you can do about it. If you slow down, you'll slow the lane down and cause lots of people to pull out to overtake. That's particularly dangerous since all 3 lanes are full. And then people will simply pull into the gap in front of you, filling the nice 2-3 second gap.

          In other words, it's a nice idea, but on crowded roads, even with good drivers, it wouldn't work.

      • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:23PM (#44733059)

        When I was in Holland last year, we had a car with a GPS and speed limit display. Only problem was, if you were on a main highway and passed over a local road, the speed limit would often switch to something like 50km/h as it briefly became confused about which road you were on.

        Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

        But the speed limit signs really make no more sense, since they can trivially be 'hacked'; I've seen local kids in Britain turn speed limit signs around for grins, so you'd end up with a sixty mph limit in the town and a thirty on the road leading out of town.

        All in all, it's a really stupid idea. Which is what you'd expect from the EU.

        Not really, if the maxium speed limit is 70mph, which seems odd in the EU since it's supposed to be metric, but if the maximum speed limit is whatever, then setting the sensor to go off when you go above the maximum won't be impacted by side roads or the like. It will only kick in if you go over the maximum speedlimit. In the US, for most states that would be 70mph, although there are a few which allow faster.

        Giving a warning when one is breaking the law isn't taking away one's legal freedoms, just their illegal freedoms, which by definition, they aren't free to exercise in the first place.

        Of course, there is a much simpler method than using computers and the like. Go back to putting appropriately sized engines and gear ratios in cars and they will be able to accelerate quickly, get good fuel economy, and limit their top speed to about 1.25 times the maximum speed limit allowed. After all, why manufacture cars with a top speed of 150-200mph when the maximum legal speed limit is 70mph? It seems that if the state can revoke your license for dwi because you might hurt somebody while driving while intoxicated, the same rational would work for driving well above the posted speed limit.

        According to the summary, 30,000 Europeans were killed in car accidents, it doesn't say how many were high speed, but even if only 10% were, that is 3,000 people, about the number killed on 9/11 in the US. The US went to war because those deaths were viewed as being for no good reason. Are traffic fatalities because of reckless high speed driving any better?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arth1 (260657)

          Not really, if the maxium speed limit is 70mph, which seems odd in the EU since it's supposed to be metric, but if the maximum speed limit is whatever, then setting the sensor to go off when you go above the maximum won't be impacted by side roads or the like. It will only kick in if you go over the maximum speedlimit. In the US, for most states that would be 70mph, although there are a few which allow faster.

          But there is no maximum speed limit in Europe. Many parts of the Autobahn doesn't have speed limits. And roads not open to the public.

          No, it would have to be linked to the speed limit signs. But even then, it seems like a bad idea. What about emergencies? Or a policeman having to commandeer a vehicle to stop a crime?
          And the speed limit is defined differently in different countries - in some, it's legal to temporarily exceed it during passing, as long as caution is used. Would you have to get your c

          • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

            by beelsebob (529313) on Monday September 02, 2013 @02:34AM (#44736429)

            What about simply overtaking safely.

            It's impossible to pass someone safely on the motorway if you can only get your speed 1mph higher than theirs – it means you sit in their blind spot for ages.
            It's worse on country roads, where you're going to make it completely impossible to overtake someone doing any speed over 50mph, because a 10mph passing speed is not significant enough to get you past on any of the short straights on Britain's windy country roads.
            Worse, if you come up against someone doing 60mph on the straights, but slowing down unduly on the bends, you now have only one option –to overtake them on the bends. I'd bet heavily that that alone would increase the accident rate, not decrease it, because people would start overtaking in stupid places.

            • by Alioth (221270)

              That's fine to the safety nazis. They would say "Well just don't overtake and be more patient".

              We already see this with motorways with lorries. You get one lorry with its limiter set to 55.9999998 mph and another lorry with its limiter set to 56.0000001 catches it up and starts to overtake. 15 miles later it's finally past after causing all of lanes 1 and 2 to be going at 56 mph for the last 15 miles, and lane 3 bunched up nose to tail traffic doing about 60.

        • Re:Not really (Score:5, Informative)

          by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Monday September 02, 2013 @02:25AM (#44736367) Homepage

          Speed is not the only cause of road accidents, and in many cases a crash would have occurred anyway. Also setting a maximum speed would do nothing to stop people speeding at 70mph down residential streets, which is far more dangerous than doing 90mph on a highway.

          In fact many crashes are caused by lack of speed, or significant differences in speed. Someone driving well below the speed limit is often far more dangerous than someone driving way above it, especially on roads where its not easy to pass them because they will cause a queue of frustrated drivers to form behind them. Someone driving slowly on the highway is also extremely dangerous.

          Also speed limits today were set many years ago, when cars were much slower and more dangerous... While lowend cars then would have struggled to reach 70mph if they could at all, today virtually any car is capable of 100mph. More importantly, while driving 70mph back then was noisy and resulted in a lot of vibration from the vehicle, today 70mph is a trivial cruising speed and you barely realise you're moving... This significantly increases the change of people falling asleep at the wheel.

        • [...]

          According to the summary, 30,000 Europeans were killed in car accidents, it doesn't say how many were high speed, but even if only 10% were, that is 3,000 people, about the number killed on 9/11 in the US. The US went to war because those deaths were viewed as being for no good reason. Are traffic fatalities because of reckless high speed driving any better?

          yes, because the human mind is programmed to underestimate risks for an individual when he feels he has control over the situation, and to overestimate it in the opposite case.
          I once met Nassim Taleb, and he told me that most of the fatalities of 9/11 happened after the event; of all the people who renounced flying in favour of driving, a number died simply because even counting the horror, flying is safer than driving.
          So, when you have something like traffic fatalities, in which:

          1. the individual is f

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:28PM (#44733091)

        When I was in Holland last year, we had a car with a GPS and speed limit display. Only problem was, if you were on a main highway and passed over a local road, the speed limit would often switch to something like 50km/h as it briefly became confused about which road you were on.

        Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

        But the speed limit signs really make no more sense, since they can trivially be 'hacked'; I've seen local kids in Britain turn speed limit signs around for grins, so you'd end up with a sixty mph limit in the town and a thirty on the road leading out of town.

        All in all, it's a really stupid idea. Which is what you'd expect from the EU.

        Look on the bright side, with a bit of luck this will finally give Jeremy Clarkson a heart attack.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:33PM (#44733127)

        When I was in Holland last year, we had a car with a GPS and speed limit display. Only problem was, if you were on a main highway and passed over a local road, the speed limit would often switch to something like 50km/h as it briefly became confused about which road you were on.

        That's a pretty fucked up navigation system then. Tracks should be sticky, and only easily change to other roads when there is a junction, or where the GPS position is significantly away from the road it previously thought you were on.

        They can often believe you've taken a slip road (off ramp) when you haven't, and vice versa, before correcting. But to believe you're on a road you are simply passing over is a big fuck up.

        Needless to say, having every car hitting the brakes at that point would probably be a bad idea.

        That would be a pretty stupid way to implement it anyway, even for legitimate speed limit changes, so it wouldn't be done like that. A limit on acceleration would deal with the majority of cases. If they really cared enough about acceleration sue to downhill slopes, they could add in very gentle braking too.

        All in all, it's a really stupid idea. Which is what you'd expect from the EU.

        Actually, the stronger possibility is it's the kind of story you'd expect the Mail on Sunday (or it's sister the Daily Mail) to tell about the EU, regardless of whether there is any truth in it. Or if there is a grain of truth, with lots of untrue embellishments.

      • First thing to do is a peer reviewed study to determine if there is a correlation between speed and accidents. At present it's all just speculation. I would prefer if expensive laws were based on science instead of hand waving nonsense.
    • by hgesser (605301)

      The information is often out-of-date. My navi computer does the same, but when there's a new construction area (or one goes away), the limit is completely wrong.

    • Most GPS devices are inaccurate. They don't take elevation change, or even elevation at all in to the equation. D-GPS would be a better option, don't know any domestic GPS units to have them.

      • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:30PM (#44733105)

        GPS take elevation into account when it needs to.
        It only gives you speed over ground though.
        D-GPS only provides greater positional accuracy. Nothing to do with speed. Speed is not calculated based on a delta-time/delta-distance (that would give you an average speed with an accuracy depending on the speed you're travelling or the update rate). It is calculated using the doppler effect of the signals from the satellites.

        D-GPS is only designed to broadcast the effect of the atmosphere on the speed of the signals, as radio waves travel at different speed in different mediums. Atmospheric conditions and the current state of the ionosphere only effect the absolute positional accuracy of GPS, not the speed readings.

    • by geogob (569250) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:41PM (#44732757)

      That wouldn't work in lots of place - for example in Germany - where there are speed limits that are variables and are adapted with traffic or weather conditions. That's a principal problem for every area where the speed limit is dependent on weather. In France, a lot of highways have a speed limit of 130 (in modern units) and 110 when it is raining or the road is wet. How would such as system work under such regulations? Regardless of with or without a camera, its not easy.

      Then if you don't have a camera, the system would need accurate to the minute information on construction work. Else you'll see someone race at 120 through a 60 construction zone... and it's quite a critical point because once you have automatic speed limiters, people rely on them and stop driving. They just move ahead, without any consideration for the speed they are at. This is dangerous, because they totally lose situational awareness.

      Lets say you have a camera. How does it handle multiple speed limits for trucks or cars with trailers? How about lane dependent speed limit? It must also see and interpret the signs associated with the speed limits. That makes quite a lot of data to process and artificial intelligence built in a critical system. Not that its impossible... this is some sort of minimum for self driving cars. But that's going to be expensive. You might just as well make the car self driving if it already has this level of situational awareness.

      Speak of it again, I don't think this is a good measure. Either make the car fully automatic or leave it be. Any measure that detaches the driver from situational awareness is the wrong way to go around it in my (non expert) opinion. I would rather consider an alternative, based on the same system, that issues warnings rather than take control of critical systems.

      Lets give an illustrative example (I can't find a car analogy right now)... a car passes a truck on a country road. He's almost past the front of the truck, but the driver realizes he miss judged the distance with oncoming traffic. In most cases, the only way out of this, is to accelerate and quickly get for the truck. Breaking to get back behind when you almost past it would take longer... and that's assuming the spot behind it is still there and not closed by another car. Suddenly, your built in speed limiter decides you are going too fast for your safety and cuts the ignition, obviously not aware that you are trying to avoid a face to face collision.

      I'd take a lot of time thinking such a system through before implementing it...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Type44Q (1233630)

        In France, a lot of highways have a speed limit of 130 (in modern units) and 110 when it is raining

        110 max in the rain strikes me as unfairly conservative; my '91 200Q with Falken FK452's (225/40R18) had no problem doing 130+ in heavy rain with no hydroplaning issues whatsoever... wait, were you talking KPH?!

    • by icebike (68054)

      My Navigator knows the speed limit and gongs if I pass it, why not just link it with the maximum speed of the cruise control in the same fucking computer?

      I'd pay for that, since it would save me many tickets.

      Wait, you hear the gongs, but still ignore the limit.

      But would pay for something to force you to slow down?
      For 6450 Euros, I will send you a small block of wood to put under your gas-pedal preventing it from being depressed that far.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:27PM (#44732641)

    1. Cars will fail to read the road signs correctly
    2. Someone will hack the road signs, leading to mayhem
    3. Only a certain percentage of road fatalities are caused by people exceeding the listed speed limit

    Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

    • Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

      You're a fucking commedian...

    • 4. There's no way this won't be easy to disable.

    • 1. Cars will fail to read the road signs correctly
      2. Someone will hack the road signs, leading to mayhem
      3. Only a certain percentage of road fatalities are caused by people exceeding the listed speed limit

      Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

      4. Automating all this stuff probably makes drivers less aware, which in itself may be bad for safety.

      Also, the speed limits are frequently completely nonsensical - there are a number of roads I drive down with 30mph limits, which have "traffic calming" that would likely destroy your car if you did more than 10mph. In these situations, speed limits seem to serve no purpose - they used to tell you how fast you could safely drive in good conditions, but these days they are frequently intentionally making it

    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:26PM (#44733075) Journal
      Question nr. 3 is actually the first one to ask: "What problem are we addressing here?". Then you can start discussing if the pros outweigh the cons.

      But the main issue is: EU commissioners and national MPs are my elected (well, sort of) representatives charged with managing certain aspects of running the country. They are not my parents. The highway code is not a set of moral values, but they are increasingly treated as such. In reality the should be regarded as a means to an end, that end being road safety, and enforcement of that code should reflect that. Rigidly applying the speed limits does little to serve that goal.

      By the way, if this gets implemented, I will install a backlit 80km/h sign in my rear window, so I can flash it at tailgaters, making their speed control system hit the brakes. All in good fun.
    • by bitt3n (941736)

      Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

      I'm thinking more like the faster you go, the louder the sound system plays the Marche funèbre in order to remind you of your own mortality.

      You could do this to prevent people from super sizing their burgers too, so while you're chowing down you have to listen to a requiem.

    • by jamesh (87723) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @08:19PM (#44734267)

      Why not fit cars with a voluntary limiter that users can enable themselves?

      My car has one of those and it's awesome. I started using it along winding back roads at dusk where I would be looking out for kangaroos and was finding that I was subconciously increasing my speed to well over the speed limit. Setting the limiter to something reasonable meant I wouldn't exceed a safe speed and didn't have to keep tapping the cruise control when a bend came up etc. It's also great for following cars along winding roads that sit 10kph over the speed limit but slow down to 60kph every time a gentle bend comes up - previously I found I would subconciously follow them up to whatever speed they were doing and knowing my luck i'd be the one to get the speeding ticket

      Now i just set it everywhere and never touch the cruise control unless i'm on a really long trip on the open road. With the speed limiter set I don't need to look at the speedometer nearly as often around town so my eyes are on the road more.

  • Amazing idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dmesg0 (1342071) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:29PM (#44732655)

    It will cost just a hundred billion euros and will make 2% of the fatal accidents non-fatal, only crippling.

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      It will cost just a hundred billion euros and will make 2% of the fatal accidents non-fatal, only crippling.

      It won't necessarily save lives either. If you have a car that manages to speed somehow (there will still be a million ways) and then suddenly that car passes a spot where the limit drops, it will cause the car to brake without the driver anticipating it. That will cause more accidents than speeding. Plus, a car that breaks hard when there's nothing in front of it will surprise other drivers and cause a number of accidents as well.

      Implementing this will increase, not decrease traffic fatalities.

      • by Zironic (1112127)

        What kind of grade A moron would make a car brake to match a speed limit? It'll just turn the engine off to slowly reduce speed.

        • Re:Amazing idea (Score:4, Informative)

          by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:58PM (#44732867)

          From TFA:

          Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded.

        • by dmesg0 (1342071)

          And it will most probably warn you before doing that, so you can do it yourself. No worries here.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by FireFury03 (653718)

          What kind of grade A moron would make a car brake to match a speed limit? It'll just turn the engine off to slowly reduce speed.

          The same grade-A idiots that make you brake by reducing the speed limit too sharply to meet by engine braking alone and then whacks a speed camera in to catch anyone who didn't slam on the brakes.

          An example I drive with reasonable frequency - the variable speed limit on the west-bound M4 near Newport, Wales. When they decide to reduce the limit to 50, the first 50 sign you see is too close to slow from 70 before passing it without braking. And every other gantry has a set of speed cameras in it, so you've

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Zironic (1112127)

            I hate those cameras so much. I wouldn't mind them so much if the road was permanently 50, but 50-70-50-70-50-70 with cameras in between is just pure ass-hole.

    • Re:Amazing idea (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:59PM (#44732891)

      With the quality of software in modern cars, I wouldn't want to trust my life on a vehicle that can override my actions.

  • Once this happens, there would be a big incentive to find out the device that finds you MPH, and make it read you're going 50% of your actual speed.
    • I have a Unichip [unichip.us] in my car. It plugs in between the car's computer and its sensors, modifying the signals to influence performance. Undetectable and takes 10 minutes to install. It's programmable, too, via USB, and might work for what you're proposing without any new hardware.
  • So how do they plan to mitigate accidents caused by tired and overworked drivers? Do they also plan to install heart monitors in case people have heart-attacks? Those happen. What about drunk drivers? What about steering and breaking faults. How many people die because of those?

    The thing is that these bastards can't provide roads that have enough capacity to support the current and future car traffic so they try to impose half-assed measures like these instead of figuring out how to make vehicle travel b
    • So how do they plan to mitigate accidents caused by tired and overworked drivers? Do they also plan to install heart monitors in case people have heart-attacks? Those happen. What about drunk drivers? What about steering and breaking faults. How many people die because of those? Fucking bureaucrats.

      Your position is that problems B, C, D, E and F exist, therefore problem A must not be addressed?

      • by silviuc (676999)
        My position is that they address the problem in a completely wrong manner. It's in the part that you've completely left out when quoting me.
  • I don't understand this obsession with "70mph."

    It's far more dangerous to go a couple of miles per hour over 30mph in a built-up and busy area where 30mph is the speed limit (pedestrians, cyclists, dogs, cats, vehicles stopping, turning using junctions etc.) than going 5 or 10 mph over a 70mph speed limit (on a dual carriageway or motorway).

    I'm not trying to justify speeding, I'm just very cross at the number of ill-considered populist laws that are being proposed these days in the name of safety, whether i

  • Germany still has stretches of autobahn that are unlimited. I can't see this idea going over well in Germany.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:37PM (#44732741)

    . . . a different one than the one where Germany is a member . . . ? Because that EU isn't going to put any speed limits on the German Autobahns. Actually, nobody else is either.

    That is about as likely as the NRA leading a campaign to repeal the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (the right to bear arms).

    Germans like their cars, like Americans like their weapons. That's an actual SAT analogy question.

    And they like to drive them very fast.

    • by bkmoore (1910118)
      A German friend of mine asked me, when will the Americans finally get around to controlling weapons and reducing violence. I replied as soon as the Germans get around to imposing a nationwide speed limit on the Autobahn.
  • How long before a prankster prints a sign reading 2 kmh and posts it on a highway?

    Or, for fun with fuzzing car firmware, posts a sign reading "-1 kmh" or "1/0 kmh" ?

  • fuck that (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    People die because they are shit drivers, make the damn driving tests count for something so that not every idiot gets on the road.

  • by vettemph (540399) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:42PM (#44732759)

    ...the speed limit (or the law) while enjoying the priveledge of being allowed to operate a vehicle. If you cannot do it safely (speed, wreckless or drunk), then you lose the priveledge. Driving is is not a freedom. Speeding is not a freedom. My Corvette will limit the RPM of the engine once I hit 141MPH, I've tried it twice a very long time ago. I was young, drunk, wreckless and speeding. Fortunately, no one was hurt. If we had provided this technology when cars where becoming mainstream no one would know the difference.
      Currently cars use several other technologies to prevent 'stupid' and everyone is ok with it.

    1) The engine will shut down if oil pressure to low.
    2) You can't put the car in drive unless you press the brake pedal.
    3) You can't full brake the tires when trying to stop on snow, ice or gravel.

    There are many more features working there way into all cars, all the time.

    We can try al we want, but we can't fix stupid.
    Cheers,

    • by OFnow (1098151)
      They let people drive on snow, ice or gravel?
    • by martas (1439879) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @07:12PM (#44733773)
      There's a fundamental difference between the kind of safety features you list, and the kind proposed in the article, which is essentially whether the car will "do its best" to obey the driver or not. Take anti-lock brakes, for instance -- you could say that they are "a technology to prevent stupid", but when a driver presses the brake pedal, anti-lock brakes still brake, they just do it more effectively than a human driver could. There's a significant difference between that, and telling the driver to go fuck himself when he tries to do something that the whims of legislators have decreed illegal. Safety features like the ones you list are a good idea, because they enhance a driver's ability to operate and control their car. The one in the article is an entirely different animal.
  • I can actually sort of understand this cutting off the accelerator - figure out what the maximum safe speed on any road is (and give maybe a 10mph buffer for evasive manuevers - I've nearly been in crashes that I only averted by speeding out of the way), and have the accelerator cut off at that point.

    But apply the brakes? That give you sudden deceleration - exactly the kind of thing that would cause an accident. If you're having trouble envisioning this, imagine someone tailing you a bit too closely when th

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:45PM (#44732773) Journal
    Isn't it a safety issue that you actually need to go faster sometimes. I mean if they were sincere about it wouldn't they raise the speed limits so people could get home sooner and off the roads before they die.

    Brussels should just FUCK OFF actually.

  • "Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded.

    That sounds like the most dangerous proposal I've ever heard of. A car that randomly steps on the breaks? What could possibly go wrong?

  • First, you have to ensure that speed signs are authenticated (so can't be forged),
    this means not using visual recognition, but fitting every road in the country with a reliable radio based system or something...

    Have they seriously thought this through or is it more mindless health and safety [alternative male cow produce]...???
  • Really, if they would just think of the children, they would set the speed limit and speed limiter devices at 15MPH everywhere. On bicycles too!
  • by bagorange (1531625) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:56PM (#44732855)
    Instead of rabidly anti-EU British papers.

    relevant quote from EU spokesman:

    “There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. “Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things.”

    • by xaxa (988988) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @06:13PM (#44733387)

      Instead of rabidly anti-EU British papers.

      relevant quote from EU spokesman:

      “There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses.

      “Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things.”

      Thank you!

      Any British newspaper, except sometimes the Guardian or Independent, is not a neutral source for news on the EU. They will happily blame the EU for anything, while not noting that British MEPs vote in favour of it, or (fairly often) Britain made a significant input into the proposal.

      http://www.votewatch.eu/ [votewatch.eu] can be useful for finding this, but it's not that easy to search.

    • by OneAhead (1495535) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @06:16PM (#44733395)

      You're on the right track, but it's actually even worse than that. More relevant quote from EU spokesman:

      " The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more. The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative. And a second consultation on in-vehicle safety systems in general. Taking account of the consultation results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things. That is all."

      Source: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/reports-of-brussels-big-brother-bid-to-impose-speed-controls-are-inaccurate-beyond-the-limit-2/ [europa.eu]

      And it's not that the British newspapers publishing that drivel have the excuse of being misinformed or anything. It's ludicrous to think the EU has any concrete plans of doing such things in the first place - all these so-called "journalists" would need to do is think how much public support a measure like this would get (very close to zero), how good this would be for the careers of the politicians involved, and of the horrible mess that would ensue with countries' individual schemes of speed limits, including Germany.... The same thing goes for the /. editors - listen up guys, if something sounds too sensational to be true, it usually is. Also, some healthy skepticism is in place with news coming form certain sources - one would think the editors should by now be aware of the abysmal reputation of some UK news outlets...

  • by Duncan J Murray (1678632) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @04:59PM (#44732883) Homepage

    on speed cameras. When I started out I didn't see the harm in speeding on our UK motorways (although I was vehemently against speeding in residential areas), and was largely opposed to the average speed cameras seen round the M25 and M42.

    However, after so many miles of experiencing idiots driving erratically - speeding up/slowing down - some doing 90+ others doing 50mph, and having to continually be on the look out, overtaking, changing lanes just so I could drive with a consistent speed, I've decided average speed check cameras are the way to go. They stabilise the whole traffic, and generally everyone ends up driving almost exactly 70mph. There is a lot less stress, fuel economy is better than at 70, and there's much less slowing down and speeding up, which is also good for economy and safety.

    If average speed cameras work - why use electronic limiters? There are very rare occasions when you need a bit of speed to do something safely, particularly at slower speeds (i.e. overtaking a cyclist or slower moving vehicle), and if there are any errors in the system, it could put people's lives at risk. Better to let the driver weigh up safety versus a speeding fine in those situations.

  • Man, I so wanna steal a residential speed sign and hang it out my back window on the highway. It applies to police cars as well, right?

  • by dmesg0 (1342071) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:03PM (#44732915)

    All the cars should be automatic. Then all the fatal accidents will be caused by bad programmers instead of bad drivers.

  • by AC-x (735297) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:06PM (#44732945)

    What is this trash doing on Slashdot? Seriously the whole article is utter crap [europa.eu], there are no plans for any kind of speed limiters to be fitted to vehicles.

    Here's the full quote from the EU commission in question:

    The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more.

    The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative.

    This is just standard right-wing anti-EU drivel. I think Reddit user Dwilip put it best:

    Standard Tory playbook by unknown junior minister looking for some cheap column inches.
    Find EU report
    Make up something ridiculous
    Claim you are going to block it
    Get your mate at the Torygraph to write about
    It never happens
    Say you personally stopped it
    Print it in you leaflets, cite Torygraph article as evidence

  • by KingTank (631646) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:11PM (#44732967)
    A slow driver is a bored and inattentive driver. If you take away from the driver even the task of monitoring his speed, drivers are just going to get even more bored and inattentive.
  • by Dj (224) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @05:52PM (#44733257) Homepage

    http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/reports-of-brussels-big-brother-bid-to-impose-speed-controls-are-inaccurate-beyond-the-limit-2/ [europa.eu]

    --
    Reports in the press today suggest that the EU intends to bring forward “formal proposals this autumn” to introduce automatic speed controls -known as “Intelligent Speed Adaptation” or ISA, into cars. This is quite simply not true and the Commission had made this very clear to the journalists concerned.

    The Mail on Sunday for example, uses a quote from a Commission spokesman but chooses to leave out the first and most important sentence given to the paper’s reporter, which was this:

    “The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more.”

    For the record, the rest of the quote supplied said this:

    “The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative.

    And a second consultation on in-vehicle safety systems in general. Taking account of the consultation results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things. That is all. (NB such “staff working documents” are not adopted by the Commission at political level and have no legal status.) Nothing more is expected in the foreseeable future.

    It is part of the EC’s job – because it has been mandated to do so by Member States, including the UK – to look at, promote research into and consult stakeholders about new road safety technology which might ultimately save lives. This is done in close cooperation with Member States and the UK has generally supported such efforts.”

    It might also seem strange to some that the UK government -if the press reports are accurate at least in that respect – apparently objects so violently to even being consulted about a range of future ways in which lives could be saved on Europe’s roads.
    --

  • by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @06:08PM (#44733357)
    There's a very high probability that there exists no such proposal.

    "EU proposes/legislates/forces $obviously_stupid_thing" is a
    very popular headline in UK newspapers, and in the vast majority
    of cases it's based on an at least highly misleading reading of some
    rule, or even an entirely made up one.

    The fact that I haven't been able to find any mention of this proposal in the
    press of multiple other EU countries (in their respective native language),
    and that there is absolutely no source for the claim in either TFA or any
    of the other British articles I found, makes me believe that this one falls into
    the "made up" category.

    The only person quoted is the UK's conservative transport
    secretary, most likely just reacting to a question by the press.

    Welcome to Silly Season.
  • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Sunday September 01, 2013 @06:54PM (#44733625)
    Clearly, the idea of "reading" speed limits and varying your speed based upon some detected speed limit is a bad idea, at least with current technology. Signage-based solutions are easily disturbed by tampering with signs, and GPS-driven, database-linked solutions are subject to errors in the databases.

    However, the idea of capping the maximum possible speed is sound, and here's why. With the exception of a few places which stubbornly hold onto their lack of permanent speed limits -- essentially some roads in Germany and the Isle of Man, to my knowledge -- it is fairly trivial to ascertain the maximum legal speed for a road-licensed vehicle within Europe. (Yes, the speed will vary by country, but there will be a speed limit beyond which *no* European country will allow you.)

    That limit should be hardwired into your vehicle, because legally, you have no reason *ever* to exceed it. If you have an emergency, you contact emergency services (police, ambulance, whatever) who are legally allowed to exceed that limit. If you don't have an emergency, you abide by the limit. And if the technical challenges of a vehicle-enforced speed limit on every road can be solved, it would be a good idea there, too.

    And here's why it is a good idea. If everybody -- including the politicians and those tasked with enforcing (and making money out of) the speed limits are forced to abide by them too wherever possible, then we can be sure that irrationally slow speed limits will be raised to rational levels. In the current system used by many countries, we have two rules. One for the general populace, designed to raise funding via a system of road taxation based on illogically-slow speed limits, and one for those who create and enforce the system, and are allowed to ignore the speed limit with a nudge and a wink.

    If their cars cannot ignore the speed limit, they suddenly have a vested interest in setting proper speed limits. Right now, they have the very opposite in many countries.
  • by zedrdave (1978512) on Monday September 02, 2013 @01:55AM (#44736189)
    Even without the oh-so-typical use of imperial units, it took me all of 2 lines into this bit of "news" to know exactly which newspaper it came from.

    Lo and behold, it is indeed nothing more than the semi-regular bit of foaming at the mouth by the Telegraph: a notoriously europhobic rag whose sole raison d'être seems to be lamenting the glory of ole Britannia and play into the fears and pet hates of their readership (in no particular order: immigrants, the youfth of today, loud music, feminists, the EU, anybody who dares criticising the Royal Family etc).

    As usual, the article is full of weasel words and rightful indignation, with little evidence to back up the claim that any such plan exists, as more than the inconsequential suggestion of some external consultant, somewhere, somehow (the closest I have found to a non Telegraph/Daily Mail-related source about that story, is this page [europa.eu] on an official EU's website, which clearly states that its content does not reflect the opinion of the commission, let alone anywhere near the stage of an official EU proposal).

    But at least the "editors" of Slashdot and a couple other lazy online websites get a nice click-whoring controversy out of this, the usual crowds can rush in and start pointing out why this is a horrible idea so typical of the EU, the Telegraph gets some extra publicity and their readers get their weekly dose of EU paranoia (and must feel really powerful, when none of these scary directives ever make it into law). Everybody's happy.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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