EU Starts Requiring Anti-Speeding Tech for New Cars

When you go over the speed limit, your car will have to let you know.

Mary King Associate Editor
Mary is an associate editor covering technology, culture and everything in between. She recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as an editor at The Daily Tar Heel and reported for newspapers across the state. You can usually find her decked out in UNC merch and streaming lo-fi hip-hop while she writes.
Mary King
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Aerial view of overlapping highways
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New cars in the European Union are now required to come outfitted with anti-speeding technology called intelligent speed assistance, or ISA, as part of an EU regulation going into effect Wednesday.

Under the regulation, auto manufacturers must implement one of several ISA tech options that'll kick into gear when a driver goes over the speed limit. The car can alert the driver with a visual warning followed by an acoustic or vibrating warning; the gas pedal can gently push back on the driver's foot; or the car can automatically reduce speed. The driver can override the latter two functions, the EU said, by pushing slightly harder on the gas pedal. 

"The objective is to protect Europeans against traffic accidents, poor air quality and climate change, empower them with new mobility solutions that match their changing needs, and defend the competitiveness of European industry," the European Commission said in a release.

Some vehicles already include warnings for speeding, but the driver must manually set them up. The EU regulation requires the tech to work automatically. 

The nonprofit European Transport Safety Council, which advocates for road safety measures in the EU, said it welcomes the new regulation but that the minimum standard of a beeping sound is annoying to drivers and inadequate for safety. Also, ETSC said, cars could gather inaccurate speed information if they're equipped with systems that determine speed limits only by using cameras to analyze signage and lack a digital map of speed limits.

"Vehicle safety is constantly moving forward, and there is no reason why these standards can't be reviewed and updated in the near future. We think that is essential," said ETSC Executive Director Antonio Avenoso.

ISA is mandatory effective immediately for new cars as they enter the market, and starting July 2024, it'll apply to all new cars sold.