In a move that sounds like something straight out of George Orwell’s dystopian nightmare, 1984, the European Union has declared that all new cars sold in Europe and introduced after 2022 must be fitted with speed limiters.
This isn’t news; the decision was made in 2019, but it’s worth revisiting because what seemed like a bit of depressing policy coming some years in the future is now coming next year. That’s NEXT YEAR, PEOPLE! And we’re not just talking about limiting speeds on motorways, or roads past schools, but potentially on beautiful deserted country roads, too.
Yet few people are talking about it. UK Autotrader’s Rory Reid is someone who is talking about it, and has just put together a great video covering the changes and trying to clear up some of the confusion about how the technology will work, and which cars it will affect.
Reid explains that cars already homologated before the July 6, 2022 date the rule goes live have until 2024 to adopt the tech, which will use a combination of GPS data and road-sign recognition cameras to sense the correct speed for the road.
Despite the deadline date being just 12 months away, some of the finer details aren’t clear. But it seems that cars will encourage you to adhere to the speed limit by flashing warning lights, making sounds and pulsing, or even pushing back, your accelerator pedal, rather than making it impossible for you to exceed the limit.
Frankly, much as I admire the effort to reduce accidents, it sounds horrific – both annoying, and worrying, because traffic sign detection doesn’t always work, which brings its own dangers.
If you’re sitting in the UK thinking ‘that won’t affect me because Brexit means we’ve left the EU’ we’re sorry to break the news that it almost certainly will affect you, because Britain still retains most of the EU’s rules, and, as Reid points out, is unlikely to make strides to change them in this case because it wants to be a leader in autonomous driving.
What about the US of A?
And if you’re sitting in the U.S. thinking ‘that won’t affect me because they still haven’t taken my guns, and they sure aren’t taking my right to do 90 in 25,’ is it that unrealistic to think that even if it’s not taken up at a Federal level, some states may adopt the tech if stats surface suggesting limiters might cut accidents, injuries and deaths? America was the land of the 55 mph limit and 85 mph speedometer, after all. But regardless of where you live, this thought-provoking video from Reid is worth a watch.