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Location-Based Speed Limiting Hits London


Location-Based Speed Limiting Hits London

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.


Times Online.

Hamish Campbell

May 12, 2009, 4:40 pm

Just think, in years to come, when our in-car-traffic-cop-device automatically deducts out bank balances for speeding, we can say we were there when the thin end of the wedge was put in place.

Actually, as someone who likes to drive within speed limits, I quite like the idea. Will be fun to see if they are recording times/time in red sad face speeding zone and then using for driver appraisels/fines/bonuses etc.


May 12, 2009, 4:57 pm

Just imagine how much 'fun' that would be :) If the wrong sort of people got hold of the devices. They could hack the london speed limit to 10 mph.

Didn't a Doctor Who episode cover this scenario? http://tardis.wikia.com/wik...


May 12, 2009, 5:14 pm

I am not sure how new this concept is - I think McLaren are using something similar in their F1 cars for 2009.


May 12, 2009, 5:37 pm

I would be OK with this, but ONLY if it came with a road tax discount (or similar).

Robert Elliot

May 12, 2009, 5:54 pm

"it is hoped that drivers will volunteer to use the devices"

It is hoped that I will win the lottery on Saturday, but I'm not banking on it...


May 12, 2009, 7:28 pm

They were talking about doing this years ago but found it too costly .... maybe they're getting a discount now :D


May 12, 2009, 10:27 pm


I think all formula 1 cars have been using this for a while to limit their pit lane speed so they can drive right on 100kph


May 13, 2009, 1:54 am

As an advisor its OK, but something that stops you accelerating? Sometimes that's the best response to a situation, this could cause more accidents than it stops. I'd rather give up my car than let this be installed and quit the UK before I do that.

iain coghill

May 13, 2009, 12:24 pm

What happens if you don't notice crossing from a 20mph zone to a 30, foot flat to the floor? Does the car suddenly lurch forward?

James Foster

May 13, 2009, 1:42 pm

Why are people averse to using a technology which will remove speeding fines, safety cameras and speed traps from UK roads? Were this introduced in my area, I would welcome it with open arms - it still amazes me the number of cars that pass me on my way to work when I am driving at 70 MPH in a 70 zone!

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