System stops cars from exceeding speed limit

LONDON, UK – In a move that will send shivers down the spine of motorists everywhere, the authorities in London are testing a system that prevents cars from exceeding the speed limit.

Transport for London plans to fit the technology – known as Intelligent Speed Adaptation – in thousands of taxis, buses and council vehicles.

The device uses satellite tracking and a digital road map to detect the local speed limit. The car then prevents the driver from accelerating over that limit. The device does have a ‘disable’ button, though, which switches the system to an advisory mode, so that the speed limit is displayed but not automatically enforced.

The technology will go on sale next year to private motorists. While it might seem unlikely that anybody would actually choose it, the designers suggest that it could prove popular with motorists who have previously been convicted of traffic violations and who risk losing their driving licenses if it happens again.

At the end of the six-month trial, the technology will be made available to external organisations. Transport for London said it had no plans to make the devices compulsory.

Similar systems have been trialled in Australia and Belgium.