If you think London's numerous speed safety cameras and bumps are an unfair hindrance on your right to drive as fast as you damn well like in the city, you're really not going to like Transport for London's Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology, the trial of which is starting in the capital.
The system combines GPS location tracking with a custom 'speed map' of London - as defined as any road within the M25 circular - to limit vehicle speed in either an enforced of advisory manner. The former, oddly enough, restricts the vehicle top speed to that of the road being travelled on. Advisory mode simply displays the current speed limit and either a green, smiley face if the current speed is within that limit or a red, sad face if it is being exceeded.
ISA devices will be installed in a fleet of 20 cars, a bus and a taxi this summer and Southwark Council has expressed interest in outfitting its fleet of some 300 vehicles. The system is expected to be offered to regular drivers some time next year and, according to TfL, will lead to reduced congestion, emissions and a reduction in the number of fines issued to drivers.
Importantly for those adverse to the system, there are no plans, currently at least, to enforce the installation of ISA in vehicles. Instead, it is hoped that drivers will volunteer to use the devices.