EU mandates speed-limiting tech in cars, what could go wrong?

speedThe European Union has mandated that all new cars have speed limiters installed starting in 2022:

The legislation will require all new vehicles put on the market to be equipped with Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology. The devices can use sign-recognition video cameras or GPS-linked data to automatically limit the speed of a vehicle. They do so by limiting the engine power to prevent the vehicle from accelerating past the limit, rather than by throwing on the brakes.

Certainly nothing will go wrong with this.

I mean, nobody would ever hack into the limiters or the GPS data so drivers in a particular locations can’t go over 5 mph. And certainly the technology will never fail due to some bug and stop cars. And I’m sure there will never be a situation where a driver needs to accelerate quickly to avoid a collision or some other danger only to have the speed limiter stop them and cause an accident.

Things like that never happen!

The limiters can be disabled (a compromise to get the legislation passed), which is what every sensible do the moment they buy their new car in 2022 and beyond. Of course, once people get used to the technology, it’s entirely possible that the rules can be amended to prevent doing that in the future.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a machine that is designed to thwart its user. No, people should not speed. But also, speed limits should be set intelligently, enforcement should be consistent, and less-invasive kinds of technological help – speed cameras, “black boxes” whose data can be examined a crash – should be deployed before something this drastic.

On the plus side: having escaped the EU, post-Brexit Brits should be able to rocket through the garbage-strewn hellscape of their economically-shattered nation with encumbrance. Useful when raiding the chemist to get the last supply of antibiotics in town and outrunning the local gangs.

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