Smart speed support becomes mandatory

Under an EU regulation, a whole range of assistance systems will be required for new vehicles from Sunday: including an “intelligent speed assist”. It warns the driver of exceeding the speed limit – or whatever it thinks it is.

As early as 2011, the EU decided that “Intelligent Speed ​​Adjustment” (ISA) would be mandatory – along with other systems such as emergency braking and lane departure warning, as well as drowsiness detection. The law is part of the European campaign for more safety and fewer fatal road accidents. Adhering to the speed limit with such accuracy is almost impossible. Even the cruise control system in many vehicles fails. Additionally, a speedometer is usually a bit ahead and a car almost always drives slower than the speedometer indicates or the cruise control dictates. The lane departure warning system also likes to intervene electronically with the steering if you get too close to the middle lane. Many drivers also reported that emergency braking was activated unnecessarily The maximum speed limit is determined by a number plate recognition system that uses a camera and navigation data. According to EU regulations, the camera, which is usually mounted on the windscreen, should read nine out of ten signs correctly – as long as they are not dirty and are clearly visible. Most systems are better under ideal conditions, but what does that mean: signs are often covered by branches in the summer, dirty in the fall and winter, or blocked by trucks. The data on the navigation map is not always up to date. The result is false alarms. In addition, the low tolerance of one kilometer per hour leads to constant warning tones. However, the speed assist can be deactivated. According to findings of ADAC The system is “currently not sufficiently tested and mature, so the proposed disable option is reasonable. As a support system, it can certainly be useful in individual cases,” says the auto club. In reality, the systems do not work very reliably in practice: The trade magazine “Auto, Motor und Sport” tested its speed warning systems on 146 vehicles – with disastrous results: Only 18 of the vehicles received any ratings.

By Guido Reinking

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