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Australia, UK To Test Vehicle Speed-Limiting Devices

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-great-prank-device dept.

Transportation 859

nemesisrocks writes "The New South Wales government is set to begin testing a device that will limit the speed of drivers because 'excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving.' Located on the dashboard, it senses a driver's speed with the use of GPS. If the speed of a car goes over the posted legal limit, a warning sounds. If the driver ignores the warning, the device eventually cuts all power to the car because a cut-off switch has been installed between the accelerator and the engine." The Times Online reports that the same system will be tested in the UK this summer for use in taxis and buses.

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859 comments

All I have to say is... (5, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025007)

... what could possibly go wrong?

Re:All I have to say is... (4, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025049)

Solar flares.
US Military mucking with GPS system.
DoS attacks.

On the bright side, you'll never get a ticket again because you can blame the car if it lets you speed.

Re:All I have to say is... (5, Interesting)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025207)

Tunnels.
Drift.
Valleys.
Echoes.
Poor reception.
Software bugs.
Hardware bugs.
Insectoid bugs.

I'm sure there's more. On the bright side, you could be travelling down a steep enough incline to roll home when the engine dies.

Re:All I have to say is... (2, Insightful)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025065)

This is idiotic... Cars already come with limiters usually based on the capabilities of the tires. All the cars I've owned would have the accelerator fail past ~115mph. If they want to lower that to ~85 or so that's one thing, but killing all power to the car is ridiculous.

Re:All I have to say is... (3, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025159)

The electrical Component which does runs this malfunctions and causes all sorts of Havoc on the driver,
God forbid causes a wreck, then they can sue the hell out of the government and car companies.
Freaking Nanny statism is getting under my skin.

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025239)

Nanny statism is getting under my skin.

If you live in Australia/the UK, then it should have been there for quite some time....

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025381)

Freaking Nanny statism is getting under my skin.

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

And the caps filter sucks.

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025383)

So when your engine management system dies and your car stops, do you think you'd win a case against the car manufacturer for that?

Re:All I have to say is... (5, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025209)

... what could possibly go wrong?

If implemented as described in the article: not much. With "cut power" they actually mean "limit power to reach only the maximum allowed speed" and you can override it if you wish. (Emergency transport to the hospital, speed limit out of date etc.)

Re:All I have to say is... (2, Insightful)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025259)

Thus, it doesn't really serve any purpose - except tracking the user, be this a good or a bad thing...(and since this is Slashdot, I better get my tinfoil hat and scream "BAD BAD BAD!" now)

Re:All I have to say is... (1)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025311)

... what could possibly go wrong?

Car shuts down on tornado chaser that got a bit too close?

In another news... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025351)

US government is testing a device which will determine the thrust rate and force during a sexual intercourse, because it's determined that excessive thrust can lead to heart attack. All the citizens over age of 45 years will have the device fixed between their penis and heart. If excessive thrust is detected, the device will cut the blood supply to the penis of the offending party. (earlier version was designed to throttle oxygen supply to the heart, but it was thought to be too aggressive)

Re:All I have to say is... (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025443)

And what will happen the first time a simple glitch in one of these devices causes a 60-car interstate pile-up? Probably the same thing that will happen the first time a well-known politician or celebrity tries to rush someone to the hospital.

yeah thats a good idea (-1)

splatter (39844) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025019)

does anyone else see having your engine cut off in the middle of rush hour traffic while everyone else is around your is cruseing at speed?

oh yeah no I didn't RTFA and FP!

GPS needs to know road directions (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025031)

One of the biggest problems with current GPS detection devices is lack of context.

The GPS needs to know the direction and actual road/lane I am driving in.

I get warnings about speed cameras and told to slow down - just because I am passing UNDER a 30mph road travelling in a different direction on a motorway (70mph).

Re:GPS needs to know road directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025257)

It's Australia. Huge parts have a single road. Even being able to pin your location down within half a mile would do :)

Re:GPS needs to know road directions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025331)

The GPS needs to know the direction and actual road/lane I am driving in.

So it uses a compass. Problem solved.

Of course, I've never had problems with my GPS not knowing what way I'm going. When you start driving, sure, it might not know what way you're going, but once you've moved a bit, it knows.

I get warnings about speed cameras and told to slow down - just because I am passing UNDER a 30mph road travelling in a different direction on a motorway (70mph).

The only time that would be an issue is when the slower road runs parallel to the main road. Otherwise, the GPS can assume that you're still on the road you've been on for the past several miles, since there's really only one point where the roads intersect. GPS navigation systems have already dealt with that problem, it's a solved issue.

The only real problem I see with this device is that it needs to be installed on all cars simultaneously - but if it could magically be installed on every car and it prevents people from going 80 in a 55 zone, I'm all for it.

Speed Limits Change (1)

steve6534 (809539) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025035)

And what happens when the posted speed limit changes and the "device" isn't updated in a timely fashion ?

Re:Speed Limits Change (3, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025401)

There are roads in my area that have different speed limits in different directions on the same road! Speed limits that jump and drop 30 miles per hour more than once in a single mile! Speed limits that vary by time of day (school zones, etc), and more.

There are new roads being paved daily, others widening or diverted by construction. Temporary speed limits are posted by construction workers constantly. If the device can't react to these as well, it's useless, and probably more dangerous since "if it's not beeping, i'm not speeding" could potentially become a LEGAL defense!

Also, what happens when you are trying to pass a car that's going slower than you, and while trying to pass your engine power drops!?!?

What happens if you have a software glitch, or your device looses calibration. It could hold you to 10 or 20 miles less than the posted speed limit. It could simply fail, and cut engine power output. It could fail to engage and allow you to speed dangerously. It could simply prevent you from driving at all...

The ONLY safe application I can see for this system would be to apply while driving under cruise control, and be an alert-only system.

This is also something too easy to abuse by officers. If it's mandated to be installed, and everyone is being tracked, then entrapment starts to be an issue.

That's strange.. (5, Informative)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025037)

UK government official figures show speed is only the causing factor in 5-7% of all accidents.

Re:That's strange.. (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025117)

If they mandated a device which prevented people driving when fatigued, or had a pint, or when distracted, or when it's raining, the kinds of things that cause most accidents, it'd be a huge civil liberties breach. I mean, there's no legal prohibition to driving when you're a little tired or a little drunk or listening to NPR or there's a bit of drizzle, but you'd make them de facto illegal if you installed a device that prevented people from driving in that state. There is a legal prohibition to driving over the limit, though.

Re:That's strange.. (5, Insightful)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025153)

You wouldn't possibly be implying that someone was grossly exaggerating the figures to hype up their own pet cause, would you? In this day and age, that would be simply unimaginable.

Re:That's strange.. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025397)

Speeding is one of the most preventable causes of accidents, though, up there with drink driving. The drunks at least have the excuse that their decision-making skills are impeded, but a stone-cold-sober human being can still get in the car and decide to pump their speed up by a sixth and their car's kinetic energy by a third.

Re:That's strange.. (5, Insightful)

Kugala (1083127) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025205)

Speed doesn't kill, stupid driving kills. A good driver should be able to determine the appropriate speed for the road, traffic, and conditions. A bad driver will get into accidents anywhere, because they don't pay attention or plan ahead.

Re:That's strange.. (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025333)

Technically speed is a factor in 99.9% of all accidents. If the car was stationary, no accident would have happened.

But, more sensibly, it is lack of driving ability that is the cause of these accidents. A skilled racing driver could undoubtedly drive safely at a speed far above the posted limit; a 79 year old grandmother with cataracts is unsafe even when driving below the limit. The police should list "lack of skill" as a cause, not speed.

No Doubt (1)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025043)

That removing this device would be illegal.

I don't know of anything similar to this in the United States, but I recall reading about "black boxes" being installed in cars here. Something like this [engadget.com], but it says nothing about it being required.

I'm not sure how the Constitution would apply to something like this being tried here.

"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025045)

If you read the article, you'll see that it limits the engine's available power so that it can no longer go over the limit. It doesn't cut off the engine, or for that matter the battery.

Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025127)

cutting power whilst travelling at 70mph on a motorway to the pedestrian 30mph of the road you are travelling alongside or under could cause devastating problems.

Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (2, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025285)

That would be why it doesn't cut the power unless you've been driving over the limit for a certain period of time. I don't know about you, but I've yet to use a GPS which put me on the wrong road for more than a few yards.

Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (2, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025147)

Just for future reference, cutting the battery does not kill power; because there's an alternator generating all the electrical power the car (usually) needs. It will; however, play hobb with the electrical system because the battery acts, in effect, as a large filter and it helps to regulate the system voltage.

Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025361)

So, I'm overtaking that other car. I go over the speed limit because I noticed an oncoming car on the opposite lane and decide I won't avoid collision if I stay within the speed limit, and it's too late to retreat.
Then the engine power drops so that I can't finish the maneuver on time.

Coming next: brakes that make it impossible to brake rapidly, to avoid collision with a car tailgating you.

Re:"Cuts power" not "cuts all power" (1)

KeatonMill (566621) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025367)

This is a huge difference -- I read the summary and thought "wow, so they're going to turn a 90 mph steerable vehicle into an 85 mph missile."

I'm not against the idea as long as there is some built in leeway -- due to imperfections in GPS real time data (from the sky) and the stored map data.

Errrm (0)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025053)

If you want to do something like this for commercial vehicles, it is much smarter to have a monitoring device with reports that go to supervisors. I mean can you imagine a bus barreling down the highway and having the power suddenly go off? How many folks do you think would be hurt or killed?

Re:Errrm (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025413)

None? (In all likelihood, since it would coast gently to a stop. Don't use hyperbole.)

GPS speeds are inaccurate (-1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025059)

GPS speeds are inaccurate when computed over short distances. They should be averaging over a kilometer or so. They probably aren't.

Re:GPS speeds are inaccurate (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025107)

My personal GPS jumps from 0 to 10MPH while I drive, and I'm not in a particularly fast car (hyundai elantra).

Re:GPS speeds are inaccurate (1)

egr (932620) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025359)

...jumps from 0 to 10MPH while I drive, and I'm not in a particularly fast car (hyundai elantra).

Indeed, I can run faster

Re:GPS speeds are inaccurate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025171)

That's one of the reasons that the EU is starting its own GPS system; Galileo. As well as being able to give a much more accurate reading of speed than the US's GPS it will also give a much more accurate reading of location and allow the government to charge for using certain roads.

Re:GPS speeds are inaccurate (2, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025293)

heh, my wife's Garmin (530?) would, on occasion, register speeds of over 400mph on the history stats.

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025063)

Good luck selling crippled cars. I hope they come with soma.

Re:Good luck (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025335)

somÄ asághramindavaᥠsutÄ átasya sÄdane |
indrÄya madhumattamÄᥠ||
abhi viprÄ anÅá£ata ghÄvo vatsaáf na mÄtaraᥠ|
indraáf somasya pÄtaye ||
madacyut ká£eti sÄdane sindhorÅrmÄ vipaÅcit |
somo ghaurÄadhi Åritaᥠ||
divo nÄbhÄ vicaká£aáo.avyo vÄre mahÄyate |
somo yaᥠsukratuᥠkaviᥠ||
yaᥠsomaᥠkalaÅeá£vÄ antaᥠpavitra Ähitaᥠ|
taminduᥠpari á£asvaje ||
pra vÄcaminduriá£yati samudrasyÄdhi viá£áapi |
jinvan koÅaáf madhuÅcutam ||
nityastotro vanaspatirdhÄnÄmantaᥠsabardughaᥠ|
hinvÄnomÄnuá£Ä yughÄ ||
abhi priyÄ divas padÄ somo hinvÄno ará£ati |
viprasya dhÄrayÄ kaviᥠ||
Ä pavamÄna dhÄraya rayiáf sahasravarcasam |
asme indo svÄbhuvam ||

1. To Indra have the Soma drops, exceeding rich in sweets, been poured,
Shed in the seat of sacrifice.
2 As mother kine low to their calves, to Indra have the sages called,
Called him to drink the Soma juice.
3 In the stream's wave wise Soma dwells, distilling rapture, in his seat,
Resting upon a wiId-cow's hide.
4 Far-sighted Soma, Sage and Seer, is worshipped in the central point
Of heaven, the straining-cloth of wool.
5 In close embraces Indu holds Soma when
poured within the jars.
And on the. purifying sieve.
6 Indu sends forth a voice on high to regions of the sea of air,
Shaking the vase that drops with meath.
7 The Tree whose praises never fail yields heavenly milk among our hymns,
Urging men's generations on.
8 The Wise One, with the Sage's stream, the Soma urged to speed, flows on
To the dear places of the sky.
9 O Pavamana, bring us wealth bright with a thousand splendours. Yea.
O Indu, give us ready help.

wonderful.. (1, Interesting)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025081)

So I start to over take a car who is going slower than the speed limit who (as I am in the middle of passing) starts to speed up. I exceed the limit to complete the overtake as the gap behind the car has been filled and a truck has appeared coming towards me... Computer detects speeding slows me down to limit.. Truck wins the fight..

Oh yeah sign me up for 1 of those.

Re:wonderful.. (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025167)

You didn't even have to RTFA to see that it doesn't immediately limit you. It seems from the information available that you could go over the limit briefly if necessary without there being a problem.

Re:wonderful.. (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025193)

I imagine that it lets you drive over the limit for more than the minute or so that an overtaking manouvre takes. We have these things called "engineers" who can anticipate problems.

Re:wonderful.. (1)

Froggie (1154) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025439)

How many trucks have been tailgating you, at the speed limit, with less than 10m clearance recently? If the answer is more than 'none', I suggest you relocate.

bad assumption (4, Insightful)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025087)

This is a common idea that speed is the cause of the crash. Speed can make a crash worse of course, but the most common danger on highways that I see is people driving close together because one person is driving too slow in a fast lane. The bunched up traffic scares the hell out of me.

Re:bad assumption (2, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025211)

Speed can be a contributing cause to a crash. Higher speed reduces effective response time (or, if you wish, increases response distance), meaning a situation which could have been avoided (braking, evasive maneuvers) at a lower speed becomes unavoidable at a higher one. (Of course, arguing about causation can be pointless--after all, there could have been no crash at all if the drivers had chosen not to drive in the first place.)

But true, speed's affect on a crash is to increase the total kinetic energy budget of all impacts involved.

Re:bad assumption (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025279)

True. But look at it from the insurance companies (or gov'ts) point of view. The total cost of all accidents is the number of accidents times the cost per accident. Speed affects the cost per accident to a much greater degree than their probability of occurrence. To the individual, its more important to avoid an accident altogether. But the insurance industry wants to lower the overall cost.

The proper solution to lowering accident probability might entail something that would remove the worst drivers from the roadway*. This is definitely not in the auto industries best interest. It lowers insurance premium receipts and the market for new vehicles. So the industry is motivated to reduce the cost per accident and keep Mr Magoo on the road.

*My personal preference would be to increase the minimum standards for possessing a D/L to the point at which it would remove sufficient numbers of drivers from the roadway so as to reduce traffic congestion. We only have room for X drivers. We'll only issue X licenses to the most competent.

Re:bad assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025371)

This is a common idea that speed is the cause of the crash. Speed can make a crash worse of course, but the most common danger on highways that I see is people driving close together because one person is driving too slow in a fast lane. The bunched up traffic scares

If your speed is artificially limited, there is no longer a "fast lane".

This is poorly thought out. (2, Insightful)

Draque (1367509) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025099)

This fails to address either the legitimate need for speedy travel (medical emergencies, birth, etc.) and the possibility of error on the part of the system. If the system is taught that a particular road has a speed limit of 10kph when in reality, the limit is 50, it's going to do nothing but inconvenience people.

Re:This is poorly thought out. (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025169)

You make good points, but to play devil's advocate. . . "they" (that is, supporters of this idea) would probably say that for medical emergencies you should be calling an Emergency Medical Service (like 911 in the USA- is 911 implemented in most countries?), and that ambulances would not have such limiters put on them. But the counter to that is, I suppose, sometimes you just don't have time to wait for an ambulance to arrive, and you know where a nearby hospital is.

Re:This is poorly thought out. (1)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025393)

The international standard I believe these days is 112 (works internationally with mobile phones at least). In the UK the traditional number is 999.

Re:This is poorly thought out. (1, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025173)

This fails to address either the legitimate need for speedy travel (medical emergencies, birth, etc.) and the possibility of error on the part of the system. If the system is taught that a particular road has a speed limit of 10kph when in reality, the limit is 50, it's going to do nothing but inconvenience people.

A medical emergency is no legal excuse for you as a driver with no special training, and with no means to alert other drivers of the situation, to exceed the speed limit.

Re:This is poorly thought out. (1)

amilo100 (1345883) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025265)

But if you are driving to a hospital (or to the aid of a loved one) I can bet that you will speed in any case.

It makes sense to temporarily cause higher risk when someone's life is in danger in any way.

Re:This is poorly thought out. (0)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025307)

A medical emergency is no legal excuse for you as a driver with no special training, and with no means to alert other drivers of the situation, to exceed the speed limit.

Yes it is. You're required to help in emergencies (it can buy you jail time if you don't). And if "helping" means "driving faster than legally allowed" or "driving whilst drunk", then you're allowed to do it.

The question is "how fast" and "how drunk", but, in principle, you are not only allowed, but *required* to do it, provided that you can do it safely ("safely" as in "more safe than if you didn't do it").

Heck, you're even allowed to drive fast, drunk and without a driver's license, if somebody's abundently bleeding all over your back seat!

Re:This is poorly thought out. (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025321)

That depends on where you live, I guess. In the U.S. it almost always is a legal excuse, under the legal doctrine of necessity [wikipedia.org]

In other news, metal pasta strainer sales are up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025101)

Wire them into the car chassis ground, and pop them over the GPS device on the dash... not quite as good as a faraday cage, but close...

As they say .... (4, Funny)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025105)

Speed doesn't kill anybody.... It's that coming to a sudden stop that gets you every time!

Boon for criminals (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025111)

All you have to do is get them to exceed the limit and the car stops dead so you can calmly walk up and kill the occupants.

Speed limiters already on HGVs / trucks? (4, Informative)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025115)

Don't HGVs (heavy goods vehicles, artics, trucks, whatever you call them) have speed limiters on them as it is? I think this is so in the UK and some of Europe? (90kph/ 56mph)

Information welcomed.

Re:Speed limiters already on HGVs / trucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025405)

Not only are they limited, but all HGVs carry speed monitors that print the speed graphs on a circular paper that rotates over time. These might be digital these days, though probably not. The main cause of HGV accidents is the fscking driver falling asleep at the wheel.

Re:Speed limiters already on HGVs / trucks? (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025423)

That is a max speed limiter, running of the speed reading that comes off the wheels/gearbox rather than a GPS. Its more to limit them on the motorways.

Silly me (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025121)

'excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving'

Here was me thinking it was crashing into things that killed people, rather than simply travelling fast. Remind me never to fly again. Or take the train!

Technically true (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025125)

excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving.

From a physics point of view, I'd say that the absorption of kinetic energy is almost always the cause of death while driving.

I don't know if I'm a hacker because of my mindset, or if I developed the mindset from being a hacker, but I reflexively try to find unintended consequences of these things. Suppose I'm in the middle of nowhere and my kid got bit by a snake, or a woman is being chased by an attacker. The benefits of driving faster than lawful clearly outweight the risks sometimes.

Nice Summary (1)

bigdaisy (30400) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025145)

It does not cut "all power to the car". Think of what would happen to your headlights and your power-steering!

TFA explains that it limits the fuel going to the engine by instructing the engine management system to do so. In effect, it is just overriding the input from the electronic throttle that most modern cars have.

Just buy a car with an old-fashioned cable throttle connected to a carburettor and see how they cope with that. That $12m Ferrari that was sold yesterday would do the trick!

(You're going to correct me and reply that the Ferrari has fuel injection or something, aren't you?)

medical emergencies (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025149)

Not so good for medical emergencies, like when someone has been bitten by any of Australia's great many venomous critters and has to be transported to the hospital rapidly.

I didn't RFTA but ... (4, Insightful)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025161)

"Cutting all Power" should mean cutting additional gas that accelerate...or I mean it just work like cruise control that instead of supplying more gas when it goes under speed, it stop supplying more gas when it goes over the speed.

But requiring GPS? Bullshit. Hong Kong's bus (which most of them are double deckers, and import from UK) has speed limiter installed for 15+ years. The bus can never goes over 70km/h no matter how hard you press the gas pedal (70km/h is the legal speed limit for bus on all road). There is a little red light on the dashboard to signal the driver the limiter is activated.

Technology? It's just based on the speedometer that every automobile has, just like all cruise control! Why do we need to pull GPS into the picture? I have absolutely no idea.

Re:I didn't RFTA but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025319)

"Why do we need to pull GPS into the picture?"

Exactly! Mod parent up!

Re:I didn't RFTA but ... (4, Informative)

DavidChristopher (633902) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025363)

Because on some roads, the limit's 50. On others, it's 70. Some roads have 100kph limits. The idea is clear- gps will give you the speed limit of the road you're on (through a map lookup).

Re:I didn't RFTA but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025467)

Why do we need to pull GPS into the picture? I have absolutely no idea.

Because the speedometer doesn't know the current speed limit?

Modders (2, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025163)

Ha, and what are they going to do when people mod their vehicles to circumvent this?

I know that they are talking about cars and not motorcycles -- but as someone who rides motorcycles, speed in a straight line isn't the hard part, speed in turns is. A lot of accidents are caused because people try to handle turns fast and fail.

Or cause idiots tried wheelies when they had no clue.

Re:Modders (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025289)

what are they going to do when people mod their vehicles to circumvent this?

They'd probably say: "Hey why do you do this, there is already an override switch installed. Wouldn't it have been easier to use that?"

Speed limiting... (4, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025177)

I've got no problems with speed limiting vehicles. Some are already here, if you rent a U-Haul truck, there's a governor on the engine that won't let you above 65mph. It doesn't kill the engine, but the truck just doesn't accelerate anymore. Why not just put the same thing on cars? Do we really need cars that are able to go 100+ mph? I know what someone will say, "but I need the engine power to accelerate if I need to..." I'm not saying we should nerf the engines, but just limit the max speed of the vehicle but keep all the HP/torque so you can go from 0-60 in 2seconds, but you top out at 85mph.

Btw, NASCAR does this already on some tracks for safety reasons. You don't see any of those cars going 200+ mph. Even though they are completely capable of it.

Most cars already have a limiter, my BMW is computer limited at 135mph. Though, I could spend $50 and get that part of the computer reprogrammed.

This is bogus. (4, Interesting)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025179)

Now if they put speed limiting devices on cars the cops should have them to. Because no one is speeding right? Three weeks ago I had to pull into the ditch doing 140 KPH with a fire truck because a cop decided to pass me on the way to a car crash/explosion. There were two oncoming vehicles and if I had not pull over there would have been a head on collision. (It is illegal for a cop to pass a fire truck. Besides what is the cop going to do, piss on the fire if he gets there before me?) Now three weeks latter the same cop is goofing off and destroyed a brand new honda 1200cc motor bike injuring himself and a girl he was showing off to. And of course he doesn't get a ticket either. Really who needs a speed limiter?
Also are they considering the revenue they will be loosing from speeding tickets? I'm sure that they will figure out another way to get that money out of people.

Governments will quickly realize... (1)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025191)

that they didn't really care so much about how fast people drive their cars once devices like this eliminate the income they got from speeding tickets.

The big key is that this device is dependent on a GPS. It would be easy to design a system that limits the speed of a car, but making it depend on a GPS means they will have records of distances and times travelled, as well as the roads used. This kind of information will allow them to seamlessly charge tolls, access charges and peak travel time disincentives. Speeding is small potatoes compared to those new sources of revenue.

I love it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025225)

I can put the peddle to the metal and never have to worry about speeding tickets! Woohoo!

Now, if they can only come up with a system that keeps the assholes from tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, etc... everything else that causes deadly accidents!

Solve all problems by throwing more tech at it! (3, Funny)

linebackn (131821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025229)

Proof once again that if your hair is pointy enough, then all problems seem like they can be solved using technology.

Speed does not kill, lack of skill is what kills! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025247)

"Speed Kills" is a lie used by the police to justify their lazy behavior and excessive and undeserved ticket revenue. The police are simply spreading the myth of the evils of speeding rather than trying to effectively target unsafe driving at any speed. It's far easier to set up a speed trap than proactive training and oversight. If the police actually bothered to patrol with the intent of ticketing poor driving and lack of courtesy, the roads would both be safer and faster. It's a crime that the police just sit back and hand out overly expensive tickets rather than put in the effort it would take to spot unskilled drivers, or, even better, teach people how to drive safely at higher speeds. North America would benefit from an autobahn type open sped system, sadly, our governments are addicted to ticket revenues.

(M25)Not the best of places.. (1)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025255)

to test this concept in the UK unless I misunderstood something. Seriously? Testing a speed-limiting device on the M25. How often is it that vehicles get to go over the speed limit on the M25? Hell, you would be lucky to be able to do 50mph most of the time.

Speed not speeding! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025273)

excessive speed is one of the primary ways that people are killed while driving.

Excessive speed for the conditions, not merely breaking the speed limit. Yes, speeding should be discouraged, but if you're going to try and justify the new technology to do so, make sure your arguments stand up to scrutiny.

Would have been handy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025277)

Would have been handy when I had to rush my wife to the hospital due to a major complication during pregnancy. No ambulance was available and she would have died if I never got her there fast.

Would I be able to sue the government for the death of my wife and unborn child?

Oh Noes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025297)

The bus in Speed is gonna explode now.

I can't see it happening (3, Informative)

Polkyb (732262) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025303)

"Transport for London (TfL), which will today announce a six-month trial of ISA, estimates that, if two thirds of London drivers used the devices, the number of road casualties in the capital could be reduced by 10 per cent." Most cars in London don't actually move fast enough to get to 20Mph, so how exactly would this system save lives? Most UK private cars have had their speedometer set 10% fast anyway (reads 33 when doing 30 and 77 when doing 70) in an effort to both slow you down and remove te vehicle manufacturer from any possible law suits regarding speeding fines.

Hacking (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025313)

So how will cars' speed governors know the maximum speed for a given stretch of road?

Any RF method of communicating that will eventually be cracked, to the great horror of most and amusement of the rest.

And, of course, we'll be completely unable to fight of the Cylon invasion.

My Proposal (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28025347)

I propose a limiter that cuts all power from the government when it exceeds the acceptable level of control over the public's actions, because "excessive power is one of the primary ways that people are supressed by governments".

How many (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025355)

So, how many people here can already see how this device can be defeated or bypassed completely? Or is it just me?

Missing Key Point (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025399)

The summary has left out a key point in that the device can be turned off by the driver. So we're back to square one. Another thing is that they've selected a horrible sample of individuals to test the device on. "TfLâ(TM)s trial will include a London bus, a licensed taxi and 20 cars driven by road engineers, traffic managers and highway inspectors." All of whom have a vested interest in sticking to the speed limit beyond avoiding being involved in accidents. They should have selected habitual speeders, people who are close to having 12pts in three years as well. Can't really say if a device is working as intended when you don't let the intended user test it.

What if the GPS malfunction? Or stop working? (1)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025403)

Either (1) in case of "no signal" the system doesn't allow the car to move *at* *all*, or (2) allows the car to move without speed limits.

You know that for GPS, you'd need a clear view to the sky, right? You also know that even certain *paints* can weaken the GPS signal significantly, right? Or... an "accidentally" deconnected wire at the antenna?

"Gee, officer... I dunno, guess it must be broken!..."

Cut the power? (1)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025425)

Cut the power, seriously? Cuz there's nothing safer than suddenly losing engine power at 150 kph. Power steering, breaks, manouverability- all go out the window. Also, why use GPS for this? That's a surefire way to introduce errors into the system. Why not just hook into the cars existing speedometer?

But what to do if... (1)

BAlGaInTl (1462633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28025463)

... there is a bomb wired to the underside of the bus and you have to maintain at least 55 mph regardless of the posted speed limit to prevent it from going off? You could put countless civilian lives at risk! Hopefully authorities would take such a possibility in to account and give drivers a way to disable the device.
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