All new cars must have the devices from 7 July, adding fuel economy as well as safety. Will mpg become the new mph?

In the highway code and the law courts, there is no doubt what those big numbers in red circles mean. As a quick trip up any urban street or motorway with no enforcement cameras makes clear though, many drivers still regard speed signs as an aspiration rather than a limit.

Technology that will be required across Europe from this weekend may change that culture, because from 7 July all new cars sold in the EU and in Northern Ireland must have a range of technical safety features fitted as standard. The most notable of these is intelligent speed assistance – or colloquially, a speed limiter.

The rest of the UK is theoretically free, as ministers once liked to put it, to make the most of its post-Brexit freedoms, but the integrated nature of car manufacturing means new vehicles here will also be telling their drivers to take their foot off the accelerator. Combining satnav maps with a forward camera to read the road signs, they will automatically sound an alarm if driven too fast for the zone they are in.

  • Avid Amoeba@lemmy.ca
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    5 days ago

    Will mpg become the new mph?

    No because Europeans use neither mpg nor mph. 🤭

  • Buffalox@lemmy.world
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    This sounds like blown up bullshit.
    How does this speed limiter work exactly, I don’t see that mentioned anywhere.
    If I drive Autobahn it’s not the same as driving passed a school in the city. How does the speed limiter know the speed limit?
    To know that accurately, sounds like a somewhat expensive mandatory piece of equipment.
    And how come I have heard absolutely zero about this from either car reviewers or local news media?

    I looked it up for my country (Denmark), these are NOT mandatory that I can find, and they can ONLY be installed by public authorized shops, and from the paperwork required, it seems like the installer decides the limit, there are no mandatory limits.

    So it seems like the whole story is bullshit.

    EDIT:

    https://road-safety-charter.ec.europa.eu/resources-knowledge/media-and-press/intelligent-speed-assistance-isa-set-become-mandatory-across

    Intelligent speed assistance seems to be a thing, but this is a pretty crucial part:

    The ISA system is required to work with the driver and not to restrict his/her possibility to act in any moment during driving. The driver is always in control and can easily override the ISA system.

    From the OP the Guardian article:

    Drivers of most new cars will be familiar with similar features already installed, but they are currently easy to override.

    Yes and that’s how it will continue to be with Intelligent speed assistance.

    Article is bullshit these are NOT speed limiters, which is a completely different thing, despite that I can see numerous articles in English erroneously calling this speed limiters, when it’s nothing of the sort.

    Otherwise, what’s an ACTUAL speed limiter called? You know like what is popular in many new cars, that have speed limiters that prevent you from driving faster than for instance 160 km/h.

    • girlfreddy@lemmy.ca
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      5 days ago

      In Canada we call them engine governors and they’ve been around for decades (mostly on semis/tractor trailer units).

      • Buffalox@lemmy.world
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        I know most Mercedes cars have had speed limiters for many years, but those were traditionally at 250 km/h.
        An engine governor sounds more like preventing revving it to high.

    • jordanlund@lemmy.worldM
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      “Combining satnav maps with a forward camera to read the road signs, they will automatically sound an alarm if driven too fast for the zone they are in.”

      “From now on, however, cars will be designed with systems that are impossible to permanently turn off, restarting each time the engine does. Will car lovers see this as pure progress?”

      It doesn’t sound hard to disable… speakers only have 2 wires. Snip-Snip.

      You aren’t disabling the system, that still works fine, it just has no output.

    • RubberDuck@lemmy.world
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      Well it will be harder to argue against fines etc. you where warned and either ignored the warning or disabled the warning and accepted the risk.

      With the height of fines in some countries…

      I’d imagine the next step will the even stricter measurements, harsher fines and more SPECS.

  • empireOfLove2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    My comment on US plans to make impaired driving detectors mandatory also applies to these speed limiters.. I admire the desire to make it safer, but holy shit are car manufacturers going to jump on this opportunity to sell out all of your driving data to insurance companies, causing your rates to randomly double and removing any semblance of privacy, and it will also involve additional parts and sensors that will be as closely corner cut as legally allowed such that it breaks as frequently as possible.

    a “safe” idea, sure, do I want it, absolutely not, and I will never trust a corporation to implement it ‘correctly’.

    • n3m37h@sh.itjust.works
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      They already sell you all that data sorry to tell ya. Never allow your car to access your contact list unless ya want the manufacturer to sell that data off too

      • empireOfLove2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        4 days ago

        Well, they don’t sell that from me, because I drive a car that’s 31 years old lmfao. No car built past 2014 has any kind of draw for me, specifically because of these kinds of privacy invasions and general corporate bullshittery.

        • humorlessrepost@lemmy.world
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          GM stopped selling data to one of their many data customers, and their PR spun it like they stopped collecting and selling your data.

  • Kekzkrieger@feddit.org
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    My dad got something similar build into his car, its wrong so many times especially when road signs are confusing at construction sites.

    Example: Construction site limits speed to 60kmh and there is an exit coming up that goes through the actual construction site, that has a speed limit on the the exit of 30kmh, guess what. The car sees the 30kmh sign but doesnt understand its only for cars exiting but alarms the driver now until.the next 60kmh sign.

    So in order for this to work properly road signs have to be normalized all around the EU, which i don’t see happening anytime soon.

    • oKtosiTe@lemmy.world
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      I didn’t see anywhere in the article how this will be implemented. Are we sure it uses sign recognition as opposed to GPS or some other method?

      • faercol@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        My car uses a mix of GPS and camera, and I’m using Android Auto, which uses only GPS. There are several cases where both are wrong either

        • because the camera got confused by signs
        • the GPS data are not up to date

        So yeah that’s going to be fun… Like my car telling me I should drive a 30 limit instead of 110 on the highway (did happen several times)

    • Lemzlez@lemmy.world
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      Worse is the other way around, but if you then speed because the system doesn’t work, it’s of course still your own fault.

      I know why they want it and I mostly agree, but they’re massively downplaying the reliability concerns, saying it is “usually correct” (It’s not) and “data will improve”, conveniently ignoring that these underlying systems aren’t new and the data has consistently sucked over its entire lifetime. They don’t provide a target date by which they want this data to be available, so it will never be.

      Anecdotally, on a 30km drive, my car (which receives updates to nav data over cellular) is wrong 5-10 times, in both directions.

  • middlemanSI@lemmy.world
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    The one thing nobody is fixing is the constant phone use in cars. This issue is far more common than speeding and creates jams and dangerous situations all the time. Makes me hate being a part of traffic. I tend to speed by about 10% on highways but never in 30 and 50 zones. The very idea of a “smart” car taking control of my brake, throttle or steering makes me wanna barf.

    • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
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      Cars are, themselves, the problem. We’ve created a two ton rolling death machine and now we’re stuck adding more and more features to address the original sin of unleashing them across the country to begin with.

      The very idea of a “smart” car taking control of my brake, throttle or steering makes me wanna barf.

      Its that, or people will be forced to endure the unlimited nightmare indignity of taking the train/bus.

    • AA5B@lemmy.world
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      My car lets me set a threshold - currently +7mph. I can see on the dashboard when I’ve exceeded my self-imposed threshold, vs when I am between that and the actual speed limit. Actually I wish it would do a bit more, like turn yellow.

      I also ignore it in crowded areas, and pedestrian crossings, school zones, construction zones with people working, etc.

      Although I’m really pissed at whoever thought the wide straight parkway leading through the woods up to my workplace is 15 mph. That’s the reason people ignore speed limits

      However it is not set by anyone but me, never limits the vehicle, doesn’t make noise, and doesn’t get reported to anyone (as far as I know).

    • Jtee@lemmy.world
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      Governors aren’t anything new. It’s not taking control, rather just limiting speed.

      • middlemanSI@lemmy.world
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        They wont be new when most people have used and adapted to them. Limiting speed is taking control. I can imagine situations when having the ability to speed up can save your life or avoid a crash (think overtaking, avoiding falling obstacles or percieved danger from other vehicles with distracted drivers). Theres’s a lot more about this then just limiting speed.

        • Addv4@lemmy.world
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          Or it could just be a limiter on top speed. I know there are a few Chevrolets (like the volt) that limit top speed to around 90mph. I’d argue that’s pretty reasonable, as I don’t believe there is a public road where the speed limit is that high in the US. However, I do agree that the bigger issue is phone use and how no one seems to have a simple answer for fixing it (probably need a mandated mode which limits functions when the GPS detects you going over a certain speed, but which would require a large amount of industry cooperation which probably isn’t available).

          • otp@sh.itjust.works
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            mandated mode which limits functions when the GPS detects you going over a certain speed

            Lol, this sounds like very American thinking. Yet y’all still make cars with 5 seats.

            Should we be locking functionality for people taking a bus or a train?

            Should we unlock the functionality again when they go ABOVE a certain speed? Because I’m pretty sure GPS works on planes, too.

            How about someone driving who wants to disable some annoying app that the kids in the back seat are using, and knowing that it’d get disabled as long as they go fast enough, speeds up the car beyond the speed limit?

            • Addv4@lemmy.world
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              Again, it isn’t an easy solution, but the problem is insanely prevalent. I used to have a 30 min each way commute, and I’d say it was pretty safe to say at least 20% of the drivers I would drive alongside (mind you, above 65mph and generally in larger vehicles) were on their phones and pretty obviously distracted. It is very, very dangerous, and cops don’t really care to stop anyone doing it because its very hard to stop.

              Also, what do you mean by 5 seats? I don’t really get the reference.

              • otp@sh.itjust.works
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                Also, what do you mean by 5 seats? I don’t really get the reference.

                It’s a reference to the fact that most cars have five seats.

                The driver’s seat, the front passenger’s seat, and then three more seats in the back.

                Your solution assumes that the only time a person’s phone would be moving as fast as a car would be if that person were driving. Yet there are 4 other seats in a car that could be reasonably occupied by people who each have phones that would be moving just as fast as the driver’s.

                • Addv4@lemmy.world
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                  While true, they aren’t a huge risk to others. I’ve driven nearish drunk drivers, stoned drivers, and plenty of people on their phones, and while the ones on their phones weren’t usually as bad as the drunk ones, they are ridiculously common and seem to be getting worse.

          • AA5B@lemmy.world
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            The loaner car I just got when bringing my vehicle in for some warranty service, was set by the dealer to max out at 85mph. Given that there’s no road above 65 in my state, that seems reasonable.

            Actually my car has parental controls that I’ve never considered using until now. I’m not going to nanny my teen drivers but surely they don’t need to exceed speed limit +20mph

      • Buffalox@lemmy.world
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        If it limits your speed, it’s taking control of your speed, otherwise it’s not really limiting your speed.
        Basic logic 101.

        • Jtee@lemmy.world
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          Governors don’t “take control”. You don’t get to 101mph and it goes oh better reduce his speed. It prevents you from getting there.

          Regardless, I re-read the article and it’s far more advanced than a governor. This article is indeed talking about something that takes control (uses technology to try and determine speed limits for example).

  • adksilence@lemm.ee
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    I like how we collectively create nanny-states, then turn around and bitch when the cops have too much power. I hate how there really isn’t any good solution to many problems because of the human factor.

    • FarraigePlaisteach@lemmy.world
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      Hard to accuse the state of being a nanny when so many act like children. Being a child is fine, but not when driving a 2,000kg object at speed.

    • calcopiritus@lemmy.world
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      I don’t see why nanny-state can’t be nanny about cops. You can both apply speed limiters and hold cops accountable for their actions.

  • ArbitraryValue@sh.itjust.works
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    Is it a little beep or a constant alarm? I can’t imagine that many drivers would tolerate having a constant alarm.

    I’m in the USA and my impression here is that currently safety advocates are happy to set very low speed limits, drivers are happy to ignore those speed limits, and so everything works out. If speed limits were actually consistently enforced, I imagine there would be a lot of push-back against the politicians responsible.

    We need to breed a new generation of drivers who find driving in a more relaxed manner can be just as rewarding.

    I don’t see that happening.

    • bluGill@kbin.run
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      Road engineers are happy to design streets to encourage higher speeds than is safe as well.

      • andrewta@lemmy.world
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        Come to my town. If you obey the speed limit you hit almost every light on red. Do 5-10 mph over and you hit most on green.

        If you are at a red, the light will not change most times until there is a decent amount of traffic coming from another direction. When they get closer, they will get a red and you get a green. Making them stop.

        I want to meet the idiots who designed this system.

        • RubberDuck@lemmy.world
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          Sounds like it should be the exact opposite. In a road in a city near here they have leds installed in the streets and everything set for a green wave. If you drive in the green zone of the LEDs, you will have all lights green. It was a proof of concept and pretty cool imho.

          • bluGill@kbin.run
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            Many cities try that. However it is very hard to pull that off when you have two way traffic, and busy cross streets make it worth. Two way traffic often means one direction has no cars, but the other does because the distance between lights is not something in control of the traffic engineers. And cross traffic means you need to handle the whole grid at once.

      • Obi@sopuli.xyz
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        In the Netherlands we have traffic calming stuff everywhere. The result is that there is very little speeding going on. Distracted driving is another matter though…

    • Mac@mander.xyz
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      there are many people who don’t want to drive, don’t care about the act of driving, and don’t respect the vehicle.
      it would help if these people weren’t forced to drive.

    • rimjob_rainer@discuss.tchncs.de
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      The speed limits are low because nobody respects them anyway. You could make actual meaningful speed limits if everyone would drive them.

      • ShepherdPie@midwest.social
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        I think people drive at speeds their comfortable with not some arbitrary number over any posted limit. In my state, they limit freeway speeds to 65MPH but I’ll usually do 75-80MPH in a big chain with all the other people commuting. Last time we were in Montana, the posted limit was 80MPH and I still only drove 75-80MPH because I feel comfortable at that speed.

    • RubberDuck@lemmy.world
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      Yeah in one of my previous cars you could set a speed above which the car would warn. I tried it and above the set speed the alarm would constantly sound. This was probably the initial implementation. The car also had an assist camera to avoid low speed collisions. So all the tech was already in the car… that was a Skoda from 2013.

    • renrenPDX@lemmy.world
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      Probably a constant ding sound. At least that’s how it used to be on some vehicles if you exceeded a certain speed in Japan.