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Britain to Pilot GPS Speed Governors

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-so-fast dept.

Privacy 832

Rich0 writes "In a new twist on traffic speed enforcement, The Times is reporting that Britain is piloting a new device which will use GPS to actively prevent speeding. The device will initially be offered in conjunction with discounts to the London congestion surcharge." From the article: "A study commissioned by London's transport planners has recommended that motorists who install it should be rewarded with a discount on the congestion charge, which tomorrow rises to £8 a day. The trial Skodas were fitted with a black box containing a digital map identifying the speed limits of every stretch of road in Leeds. A satellite positioning system tracked the cars' locations. "

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Doesn't slower speed increase congestion? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975634)

Seems pretty obvious.

Re:Doesn't slower speed increase congestion? (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975658)

Just because something is obvious, doesn't mean it's right.

This is one of those cases. If traffic was a liquid flowing smoothly through a pipe, then it would be. But traffic does not behave like a liquid.

Re:Doesn't slower speed increase congestion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975780)

No, the grandparent is correct.

I've been down too many highways where all two or three lanes were occupied by people doing the speed limit or slower. Nobody could pass them since they were all near each other with no room to get around.

The result? Traffic gets backed up needlessly and transit time increases.

This is often one of the reasons why we have minimum speed limits. You are simply an impediment to traffic if you go slow.

Re:Doesn't slower speed increase congestion? (4, Informative)

paanta (640245) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975881)

I'm a transportation planner, and the great grandparent is incorrect. Slower speed has little to do with congestion, other than being a side effect. Up to a certain point, slower speeds actually allow more people onto the road. Congestion just has to do with the number of vehicles being too great for the amount of road, for the most part. Speed and capacity are related, but only in that speeds drop as congestion increases. You're just talking about the situation where someone is blocking you from driving as fast as you want to. That's just life. ;)

Re:Doesn't slower speed increase congestion? (0)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975892)

I've been down too many highways where all two or three lanes were occupied by people doing the speed limit or slower. Nobody could pass them since they were all near each other with no room to get around.

Though in consideration of this new system, there would be no need to pass since everyone will basically be doing the same speed.

Furthermore, I'd wager a good share of traffic congestion is caused by idiots travelling too fast and making the road much more dangerous for others, not to mention many, many accidents...

Breasts... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975641)

Does the discount include the showing of breasts? That would get ME to slow down...

Question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975643)

If the driver tries to exceed it too much, and the system has to cut out the accelerator, will they get a ticket?

Also, they'd have to _pay me_ to be in a beta test of a system that locks your brakes/cuts out the accelerator. I'd be dead if that system messed up on the higway.

Re:Question... (1)

Craigj0 (10745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975724)

In what situation would losing the ability to accelerate cause an accident on a highway? It sounds like a simple breakdown to me.

If (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975812)

You were in the blind spot of a big truck and it tried to merge into your lane. You could speed up to pass them, or break, and hope you slow down enough that the tail of the truck gets past you quick enough.

Re:Question... (3, Insightful)

bonehead (6382) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975814)

Perhaps in a situation where everyone else EXCEPT you is speeding, and a fast moving car comes up behind you from over a hill and has to suddenly brake hard, causing the car behind him to have to brake hard, etc... Sooner or later, somebody's getting rear ended.

Also worth taking into consideration is a scenario in which someone is trying to flee a violent crime... Or perhaps rush a seriously wounded person to a hospital...

Personally, I normally set my cruise control right on the speed limit. I'm getting a little older and more mature, and paying speeding tickets just isn't as entertaining as it once was. Still, I can imagine several scenarios in which exceeding the posted speed limit would not only be justified, but the right thing to do.

I'll not be turning that decision making process over to an automated system, voluntarily, any time in the near future.

I haven't RTFA yet, but unless this system allows for some sort of "manual override" by the driver, I think it's a horribly bad implementation of an idea that wasn't all that good in the first place.

Re:Question... (3, Insightful)

subterfuge (668314) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975824)

I have avoided two major accidents in my life by punching the gas to squeeze through a shrinking car/car or car/wall gap. If I was already doing the speed limit [which I was in both cases] and the vehicle was prevented from executing a sudden and dramitic increase in velocity I would have been caught in both resulting in unknown injuries [one of those accidents I avoided did have fatalities...]. The lack of this abiltiy may not have 'caused' the accident, which was the thrust of your question, but in both case I was clearly not part of the ongoing accidents because I was able to immediately accelerate and avoid them [I really miss that car....]. This idea sucks ass.

Re:Question... (1)

spike hay (534165) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975868)

I've avoided a crash that way myself. A large dual trailer truck suddenly switched lanes without seeing me. I was able to accelerate around the truck. Slowing down wouldn't have worked, as I was right beside the cab of the truck and likely wouldn't have been able to brake in time.

Skodas! (5, Funny)

kaleco (801384) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975644)

In response to the earlier Slashdot article which argues that innovation has slowed down...there is now a risk of Skodas exceeding the speed limit. I'd call that progress.

Wot's all this, then? (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975728)

This joke may need to be explained [wikipedia.org] to us Yanks. ;)

Re:Skodas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975797)

Yeah, times are changing.
Skoda is the second most satisfying car brand in the UK (after Lexus) according to the Customer Satisfaction Report [theautochannel.com] .
And they are not so cheap anymore as they used to be...

Re:Skodas! (1)

tcgroat (666085) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975803)

Perhaps using Skodas was way to rig the test. The system was 100% effective: not a single Skoda ever exceeded the speed limit during the test. The same canot be said about the bicycles that were passing them (to get away from the Skodas' exhaust fumes).

Up Next--GPS Implants (1, Funny)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975809)

In addition to the countless video cameras watching every moment of daily life, starting today, GPS units will be implanted in every infant born prior to handing the child over to the mother.

This is considered important in the fight agains crime as it will allow police to instantly know who was at a crime scene at any given moment. Scotland Yard said that the GPS units do not infringe on citizens' rights as the data will only be used for tracking down criminals. The average citizen who does not break the law has nothing to worry about.

How soon does it start???

Re:Up Next--GPS Implants (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975882)

Cameras in public aren't too threatening - after all, it's public, where expectations of privacy come only from one's incompetence at spotting voyeurs, or their incompetence at staring. Embedding spies in private vehicles is across that essential line, even if it starts out voluntary. Only rich people will be able to speed, or even just afford to avoid the surveillance. Until the "nondiscount" fees are unaffordable.

The real invasion of this system is that the raw data will be used not only to trigger a GPS speed limit. No, it will inevitably be used to halt cars driven speeders, then suspects of other crimes, then any "person of interest" to the police, or their political bosses. The stored records will be used to track people wherever they drive. The entire population will be tracked everywhere we go, and people's sense of privacy will go extinct.

Re:Up Next--GPS Implants (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975893)

The average citizen does break the law. But so many laws exist, to compensate for the lack of police competence in catching criminals, that omniscent surveillance will catch so many people in its web that we'll all be criminals. The next step is for us all to be perpetually on parole, to be rounded up whenever someone in power pulls the lever, or just "watch what we say", lest the government revoke the favore of letting us act "free".

We Need this in the US (1, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975648)

Considering how many mouth breathers seem to think that the roads are for playing GTA and not getting from point A to Point B, I'd love to see this here. I follow the speed limits to the letter becasue I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels. (I've driven in almost every state except, Hawaii and Alaska) Sorry folks, but the roads are for people like me to get safely from one place to another. If you want to speed, go find a race track and have at it. If you want to get your testosterone rush on, then play GTA. Otherwise, mind the speed limit.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975668)

Aren't you forgetting a few years back when there was a 30-some mile backup on I-95 because there were several vehicles blocking traffic by doing the speed limit?

I'm not arguing the point one way or another, but I'd tend think something like this wouldn't be feasible in the US.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975760)

That wasn't a backup, that was the traffic all making progress at the speed limit. The only reason the traffic was more dense was that it had been going to fast and all congregated at the foremost region of their respective journeys. I bet there were vast regions in *front* with far less congestion than normal.

Re:We Need this in the US (2, Insightful)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975796)

It was still a tremedous delay, even with traffic moving at the posted maximum speed. And other such protest attempts have resulted in the leaders being ticketed for obstructing traffic by merely following the posted speed limit. So unless this were to occur across the board thru the whole US at once in every vehicle I don't see it happening. Not to mention that there is zero interest in removing that revenue stream from to local and state governments.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975804)

>> there were several vehicles blocking traffic by doing the speed limit should happen every day, shouldn't it? If not, Why not?

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975805)

Why do you think cops only ride a highway for a few miles. After a mile or two, they have hundreds of cars backed up behind them, and things start to get dangerous as tempers boil.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975845)

Not in California, or at least in the area I drive. The Chippers routinely drive 75-80, with traffic letting them pass a couple of miles an hour faster. When they need to get somewhere, I've seen them push well beyond that.

Re:We Need this in the US (4, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975674)

I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels.

That's only because you have a maladjusted sense of what "reasonable" is. That, or you drive a huge top-heavy truck.

Speed limits have been intentionally set 5-15 mph too low in all but the most settled areas, where a low speed really is a safety concern.

But on many, many, MANY of the roads in this counry, a halfway incompetent driver can still be as safe at +10 as they are at 0 or -10 (relative to the current posted speed limit.)

Why are the limits set where they are? Not because it makes drivers safer--it doesn't, those that die in high speed will ignore whatever limit you set--but because it generates revenue for the local court system.

Re:We Need this in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975748)

Why do you hate freedom so much?

Do the speed limit. It shows you love America. Espcially on the 4th.

Re: We Need this in the US (2, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975678)

If you want to get your testosterone rush on, then play GTA.

Or go to the track or drag strip. There are places where it is legal to drive at fast speeds in real cars.

Re:We Need this in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975688)

What a fucking pussy.
I drive 80 mph regularly because I can handle a car pretty damn well on A PERFECTLY STRAIGHT ROAD IN DAYLIGHT!!!!
I LOVE THE AUTOBAHN!!!!!!

Re:We Need this in the US (3, Interesting)

rholliday (754515) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975707)

As I understand it the 55mph speed limit is still the most pervasive, and that it was set as a fuel conservation measure. With current cars and arrival expectations, I don't consider that a reasonable maximum limit, especially on a road like I-285 around Atlanta. The listed minimum speed is 40mph, but it's more accurately 65mph or you're a statistic.

Re:We Need this in the US (2, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975740)

Ah yes. As an Atlanta resident I can confirm that driving the speed limit here can be hazardous to your health.

Re:We Need this in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975912)

Yes. Many people seem to regard the speed limit as the minimum speed and will follow much too close if you even go the speed limit.

Re:We Need this in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975732)

No.

Speeding isn't the problem at all. The problem is people with poor driving habits.

In fact, I will go as far to say that most speed limits are set too conservatively for the lowest common demoninator driver. Local municapalities have a habit around here to lower the speed limit to increase the number of tickets they can write, proving that speed enforcement is largely a revenue generating operation, not a public safety one. The fact that there is no "advanced" class of license for drivers that can drive responsibly and handle driving faster shows this too. It would simply take away the money that cities and states generate.

If we want to do something about people who drive irresponsibly, we need to do something about bad driving habits and realize that speeding is not the problem.

Re:We Need this in the US (5, Funny)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975746)

I follow the speed limits to the letter becasue I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels.

That's fine just as long as you stay the hell out of the left lane.

Re:We Need this in the US (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975762)

please, just stay in the right lane then and allow those of us who are comfortable behind the wheel pass.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975772)

try visiting sub-communities in south florida (and other places i'm sure) where the speed limit is 30 mph and there is an entire police force dedicated to enforcing it round the clock.

i would LIKE a governor system here, simply so they all lose their jobs.

Wait a second. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975781)

So you go 55 when everyone else is going 75?

Dude, that's stupid. There's a little something called "flow of traffic." You're blocking traffic if you're going 55. Sure, it may be the law to go at the speed limit (55 around where I live), and you _can_ get a ticket for going with the flow of traffic if you exceed the speed limit, but that does _not_ mean you don't have a responsibility to be mindful of the environment around you and your fellow drivers.

Re:Wait a second. (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975843)

Nevermind the fact that your normal 1-hour commute at 75mph is going to be 1 hour and 20 minutes if all you are doing is the limit, provided you aren't shot or run off the road by some looneytoon who's sick of being stuck behind you.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

NerdConspiracy (858939) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975825)

I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels.

I guess it depends on your definition of reasonable. I've seen plenty of them according to my definition. In any case safe speed is a subjective thing. An experienced and alert driver, driving on a clear day, can safely go a lot faster than a half-blind 70 year old in low visibility. I assume the speed limits are set to accomodate the latter as well. Police won't tell you this, but it's a common knowledge that limits are usually set at 10-15 mph below the safe speed because they assume people will go over the limit by that much anyway.

Re:We Need this in the US (5, Funny)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975830)

"I follow the speed limits to the letter becasue I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels."

Congrats on achieving total faith in the infalibility of all transport authority figures, it's a rare and difficult creed. Not one in a hundred million match your devotion. BTW, your turn signal's been on for the last ten miles.

Re:We Need this in the US (3, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975841)

Considering how many mouth breathers

As opposed to what, people who breath through their ears? What on earth are you talking about?

I follow the speed limits to the letter becasue I've NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels.

Come to the UK. There isn't a single reasonable speed limit in the country. It's the same outside a school at 3pm as it is on a long, straight deserted road in the middle of nowhere at 6am. All the speed cameras are in non-dangerous places, where the speed limits are much lower than the sensible driving speed, so the whole argument that speed limits are for safety is destroyed: they're revenue collectors for the police.

Sorry folks, but the roads are for people like me to get safely from one place to another.

No, the roads are for people like me to get from one place to another as efficiently as possible, not for people like you who can barely see over the steering wheel to go at 20mph on the motorway on the way to bingo.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975848)

If it is safe for a 80000 pound truck to do 45 or 65, I contend that I am equally, if not more so, safe doing (respectively) 60 or 80 in the exact same location and conditions in my 1500 pound Metro. I have a shorter stopping distance and less force behind any impact, and I can avoid impacts far more effectively.

And don't forget all the stupid 5mph speed limits in various places. Most cars IDLE faster than that.

Re:We Need this in the US (1)

Gaima (174551) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975914)

NEVER seen an unreasonable speed limit anywhere in my travels

Never?!?
On most of the motorway network in the UK it's perfectly safe to drive at 80, or oven 90MPH. You'll be lucky to see my doing less than 80.
A fair few A roads (lots dual carriage ways, but many single carriage ways) are also safe at the same speed. Lots at +10MPH.
Was at a wedding over the weekend in Blackpool, big tourist desination, so 30 speed limits everywhere. At gone midnight, stone cold sober, before the start of the summer season, 30 is *so* slow. What's worse the dual carriage way into and out is 40! If it wasn't in Blackpool it would be open A road, thus 70, so I drove it at 60 and saw 2 whole cars!

To look at this from the other side, speed limits too fast.
B roads, rural country roads, have a statutory 60 limit, with lower limits at the behest of the local authority.
You would not believe the number of stupidly tight and twisty roads, with no posted limit, that can barely be safely traversed at 40, with right angle corners it would be suicidal to take at anymore than 20. Oh, but the limit is 60, so it must be safe!

How about in 3" of snow, and sub-zero temperatures? Is 60MPH down that rural road safe now?
Is that 20MPH limit in front of a school safe? How about when it's 3:30PM, and all the kiddies are going home?

Speed limits are, in many areas, stupid.
Speed isn't dangerous, excessive speed for the road condition is.
GPS speed limiters are dumb, they'll only leed to more accidents, as drivers lose interest in what they are doing. I've seen a test some TV program did a few years ago.

What about emergencies? (2, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975655)

What if for some reason you need to get somewhere in a hurry? I know I wouldn't give a shit about speed limits in such a situation, especially since no one obeys them anyway.

Maybe it's different in Britain though. I imagine there is less road there.

Re:What about emergencies? (1)

Craigj0 (10745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975702)

If your not thinking straight because you are in an emergency perhaps you have more reason to stay under the speed limit.

Re:What about emergencies? (2, Informative)

rkww (675767) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975787)

According to the UK Department for Transport [dft.gov.uk] there were 392,321 kilometers (that's about 250,000 miles) of road in Great Britain in 2003.

Not A Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975659)

Considering I can barely reach half the speed limit on my daily drive through London, I don't see any problem with a system like this :|

And guess where they probably won't end up (4, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975665)

in police cars.

I can't even begin to count the number of times I've seen police in the US get away with speeding because they're the police. For some reason, I can't imagine it being much different elsewhere around the world since government corruption doesn't know geographic boundaries.

They'll come up with excuses like people trying to track law enforcement or something like that and that's why they won't be on the grid.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975699)

I agree.

Almost every time I see a police car (even with their lights off) they are almost always going faster than the majority of the traffic who themselves are going more than the speed limit.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (4, Funny)

d3ik (798966) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975708)

Yeah, and those damn fire engines always seem to be speeding too! Some people are such sheep they even pull over to the side of the road when they come barreling through! Imagine the nerve of those drivers... I can't do that even when I'm late to work! I swear, it's a conspiracy or something. Why are emergency workers special?

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975774)

Firemen don't drive their fire trucks around all day. Police here in Ontario are constantly passing people on the highways and even smaller roads where the speed limit is 80KM/hr. Most people do about 100KM/hr on the 80 roads and the cops still pass people without their lights on.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975785)

Emergency workers driving to an actual emergency, announcing their presence with lights and sirens have cause to drive quickly. A police car on non-emergency business without it's lights or it's siren going has no business blowing down the left lane at 90.

Yeah, that's when they're on emergency calls (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975869)

But those cops aren't. Their sirens aren't on, they're just cruising down the road, patroling. You did know that cops aren't legally allowed to break the speed limit when they aren't responding to a call or enforcing the law, right? I've seen tons of cops breaking the speed limit when they had no good reason to. Their sirens were off, they just wanted to go say... 10-15 over the speed limit since it was faster and easier.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975717)

So what? They're patrolling the roads. Why do you care if they speed or not as long as they're driving safely? You're just jealous, but you shoudn't be. I dont know about you, but I wouldn't take a job where people want to kick, punch, and shoot me. Especially not for the little they get paid.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975736)

Interestingly there was a recent report in a motorcycle magazine in the UK which showed that police vehicles had been snapped by automatic speed cameras on 500+ cases. Automatically "notices of intent to prosecute" were sent out but the police decided not to prosecute themselves in all cases. They denied it one rule for us and another form them and it was always justified on operational reasons.

Yea, right.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975750)

They *have* to speed. Ever seen what happens when a cop car ends up in freeway traffic? Nobody has the balls to pass them, even if they're going less than the speed limit.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975823)

Well I've never been bothered about passing police cars on the motorway, just don't buzz past them doing 100mph.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

osme (634595) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975801)

You say that while assuming that their Vauxhall Astra diesel police cars are actually able to exceed the speed limits.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975840)

This is all just a big vodafone subsidy anyway. The government can't tax and subsidise them, so it will just introduce a compulsory "purchase the black box" law after the preordaned "success" of this trial. Ensures Britain stays a major player in the mobile communcations industry by indulging in blatant communism.

Re:And guess where they probably won't end up (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975873)

True story: In the UK a few weeks back, a copper was let off by a judge after doing 160mph on the motorway. His excuse was he was testing his car...

One law for us, and another for everyone else. And they wonder why people throw bricks at the police.

Safety first means safety last? (5, Insightful)

dfsiii (895495) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975671)

Anyone think of the instances where going above the speed limit is necessary - traffic issues, defensive driving, emergencies? This program seems like it would put more hassle than anything. If you are in a hurry, you shouldn't speed (that is right) - but if there is an emergency, or if you are avoiding a traffic accident, going above the speed limit is basically celebrated. I think more thought should be put into this program first before they force these sort of regulations without any exceptions.

Plus, everyone's seen school buses with their regulators, going 60mph on the highway. No one wants to be like them/

Re:Safety first means safety last? (1)

medix1 (883305) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975744)

There are many times where you might want to go faster than the speed limit. For instance, say you are passing a car on a 2 lane road when another car turns onto the road in front of you. You either need to slam on the breaks and get back behind the car you were passing if traffic behind you has not closed up the gap, or speed up to get in front of the car. I spent over 10 years as a paramedic before working in IT and have seen many instances where speed has killed or injured, but I have also seen where people going to slow has done the same thing.

So jam the signal. (2, Insightful)

benst (531969) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975673)

So what will happen if your GPS doesn't work? Maybe someone uses one of the commercially available GPS jammers, or homemade ones: http://www.phrack.org/show.php?p=60&a=13 [phrack.org]
Will they not give you the congestion charge discount? Will they slow down the car until the GPS signal is re-acquired?

Re:So jam the signal. (4, Funny)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975701)

Even better, disable your own limiter and build a short-range transmitter to spoof the GPS of your fellow motorists into thinking they are all on a 25mph road, even tho its an interstate highway. Make life on the freeway a lot more interesting.

Re:So jam the signal. (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975798)

Or just cut the cable to the GPS antenna.

Tampering... (3, Insightful)

Krankheit (830769) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975676)

Who says the GPS device needs to be going the same speed as my car? How are they going to ensure that I didn't leave my GPS device in my garage while I take out my minivan for a street race? I predict that later GPS will replace human police in the seeking of speed limit violators. Go too fast, and the GPS connects to a violation reporting server and uploads your tracking number and the type of violation (exceeding speed limit for area, failing to stop at a stop light, etc.) Of course, I am sure there will be ways to crack it, but what if insurance companies start using GPS data to calculate your risk factor based on where you park your car (in front of a pub, at Wal-Mart). Don't take me too seriously though, I have a tin foil cap embedded in my skull. ;-)

nazi police state (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975681)

still think you're free? fear fear fear, they'll whack you over the head with it over and over, give away your power, let the state protect you, it's children. the prison without walls is still a prison. sheep, slaves, call it whatever. this is bullshit, and the sad thing is that people will probably take it lying down. back to sleep sheep, we'll install more televisions and strobe lights and what-not to keep you entranced... oh look tom cruise, football. wakeup ppz

Re:nazi police state (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975761)

LOL wrong country here buddy.

Leeds? Why? (1)

c4miles (249464) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975682)

It seems worthwhile to point out that after RTFA, the pilot was held in Leeds; the scheme is now being tested in London. For those who don't know, Leeds is about 200 miles from London.

Re:Leeds? Why? (1)

limegreen (516173) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975716)

I was wondering how a map of speed limits in Leeds was applicable to getting a discount in London. It puts a good upper limit on the number of drivers initially interested.

Of course, people from other areas could get their cars from Leeds safe in the knowledge they will probably never drive there again.

Re:Leeds? Why? (3, Informative)

David Horn (772985) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975782)

It seems worthwhile to point out that after RTFA, the pilot was held in Leeds; the scheme is now being tested in London. For those who don't know, Leeds is about 200 miles from London.

It was held in Leeds because the study was conducted by the University of Leeds, where I'm a student.

Re:Leeds? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975832)

Tough break kid.

Very dangerous (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975685)

This could cause a lot of deadly accidents if it kicks in when you're trying to quickly move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle or you're passing someone. I hope whoever came up with it is personally liable for any wrongful death cases.

Anyone else find it funny they're considering offering a discount on a fee they just happen to be raising? Why can't they be honest and admit it's a fee not to use this.

I sure hope it doesn't mess up (2, Insightful)

X43B (577258) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975686)

If you thought congestion was bad before, what if it accidnetly limits you to 40kph in a 100kph zone?

Turn it off? (0)

lecithin (745575) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975691)

How hard would it be to disable/turn the device off?

Speed limiters? Congestion charge? (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975697)

What does one have to do with the other? Anyone who can speed in Central London during congestion charge is pretty fortunate.

I really don't like this sort of thing. can we lose the attitude that driving past the speed limit is the be all and end all of road safety. There is never a speed at which driving abruptly changes from "safe" to "dangerous".

Re:Speed limiters? Congestion charge? (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975863)

Anyone who can speed in Central London during congestion charge is pretty fortunate.

Yes, I'd think myself fortunate to have a helicopter too!

TWW

Big Brother is watching (1)

medix1 (883305) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975704)

....and is getting closer and closer all the time. *removes tinfoil hat* wait, put it back on, it's not safe!!

Up next... (2, Funny)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975721)

A report on a driver convicted for doing 30 in an adjacent 20mph zone due to the resolution of GPS being reduced with the outbreak of another war. A police spokesperson said "GPS, like biometric ID, is known to be infallible - that's why we use them to catch the terrorists and prostitute traffickers." The driver is due to be sentenced next week.

Not in my car?? (2, Informative)

salgo (322587) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975725)

This is actually a lot fairer than speed cameras.

Many people I know have been caught speeding in the UK on roads which very little warning about that correct speed limit. At least this system informs you that you are exceeding the speed limit. Speed cameras are often placed downhill where it is very easy to exceed the speed limit and be fined.

If the UK government really do care about road safety than then can implement these systems such as this so that we can't speed, instead of just using speeding fines as another stealth tax.

And what if GPS doesn't work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975727)

The trial Skodas were fitted with a black box containing a digital map identifying the speed limits of every stretch of road in Leeds. A satellite positioning system tracked the cars' locations.

Skodas? They can barely get to the speed limit, let alone exceed it :)

If it can't find the GPS signal (which often happens in urban areas) what then? Can I speed unrestricted? Then I would just wrap the GPS receiver in aluminum foil.

What if the system slows me down just as I'm passing another vehicle, and causes a crash?

It is dangerous to restrict driver control of the vehicle. If you have a problem with bad drivers (the UK is not the only place with this problem), improve your driver testing/training, and start handing out bigger fines.

Keep handing out bigger fines until drivers start obeying the law.

Should this become widespread, the hacking potential of broadcasting bogus GPS info becomes enormous! Slow down all the lusers using this system.

The logistics of updating every car whenever the govt changes the speed limit on a road is staggering.

History (1)

Jott42 (702470) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975739)

The same thing has been tested elsewhere in pilot studies. One of the largest trials is the project "ISA - Intelligent Speed Adaptation", partly run by Lund University.
More info at http://www.tft.lth.se/research/ISA.htm [tft.lth.se]
From the page:
"Research and development on the concept of Intelligent Speed Adaptation is going on both regarding speed limits and dynamically changing limits due to the prevailing conditions (e.g. adverse road-, or weather conditions). The system investigated is based on the Active accelerator pedal. "
The active accelerator pedal makes it possible to go over the speed limit, but you have to press harder on it, so that you dont speed by mistake. AFAIK the trials are a sucess, the problem is the cost of the equipment, and the cost to keep the devices updated with the correct speed limits.
Even more info at:http://www.isa.vv.se/index.en.htm [isa.vv.se]

American satellites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975763)

Are we planning on getting some of the revenue from the tickets?

Just wondering.

Sure is interesting to see how many people hate the US -- but they don't mind using our stuff.

This'll sort itself out in short order (4, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975768)

We'll all be going much more slowly once all the oil runs out. Those of us who haven't starved to death in the ensuing famine and political upheavals.

Bitching about intrusive government limiting the speed of your luxury vehicle will seem utterly petty by around 2015-2020.

And besides, they invent a device called a "governor" and then expect the government NOT to put it on every vehicle? Who couldn't see this coming??

I would have one of these (1, Troll)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975775)

Although I regularly exceed the speed limit I would have one of these (if it worked as advertised).

I still don't udnerstand why cars capable of over 100 miles an hour are available for sale.

I can't write a P2P application because someone might swap music but I can sell a 200mph car that will probably kill someone. (an avg. 10 years of car life per road death)

twisted

Re:I would have one of these (1)

BristolCream (102658) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975857)

I don't see this as trolling; an someone tell me why has it been moderated as such?

Revenue collection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12975789)

This isn't about making the roads safer, folks - if they wanted to do that, they'd restrict car speed limits, like the Japanese do - nope, this is about collection of government revenue.

Face it.

Technical Limits (1)

Quasicorps (897116) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975795)

In the paper this morning, they said that the device would have an override in case it was necessary to speed to stay safe. But I don't think that's a saving grace.

I think the most fearful part of this is that some drivers on the road will not be in total control of their vehicles. If you submit even some control to digital signals and outside influence, you add mechanical error to the already large scope of human error. Meaning to promote safety, it is adding a new dimension of things-to-go-wrong.

Perfidious Albion (0)

Trespass (225077) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975818)

Oh Merry England, what aspects of your citizens lives *won't* you monitor? You so silly.

obligatory Soviet Russia (1, Funny)

Krankheit (830769) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975846)

In Soviet Russia you govern GPS.

Fast Money (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975847)

So rich Londoners can speed if they want. It's not that different from the untracked version, where rich speeders can just pay the fine. Although in New York, buying back a license after scoring lots of "moving violation" points can be expensive, not to mention the increased insurance rates. But, if you've got the money, you can drive as fast as you want.

Erm (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975858)

You can't speed in central London, the average speed during the day is 3 mph. I have a better idea, how about charging people more for going to slowly, that would certainly make things more interesting. Put in additional penalties for not passing a traffic light within 2 seconds of it turning yellow, make 70% of the roads bus lanes and heres a really novel one: limit the amount of traffic entering the charge zone by keeping relevant traffic lights red until enough cars have exited the zone - kind of like a car-park full light.

the wonderful thing with this... (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975860)

...is that it will finally, once and for all, prove that speeding doesn't have much effect on traffic safety. They've got speed cameras. They're writing a HUGE number of speeding tickets. And yet...traffic deaths in Britain went UP! Not down! UP!

Folks- speed doesn't kill, and this is something few people (especially the "won't someone please think of the children" types) fail to understand. They point to statistics where "police site speed was a factor". It's not the speeding itself- it is usually a lack of judgement (very often obliterated by drugs, including alcohol) or experience, or going too fast for conditions. It is compounded by a driving public that has, for the most part, absolutely no idea (much less experience) at controlling a vehicle near its limits, or regaining control of an out-of-control vehicle.

An example- a high school kid in my town got a Mistubishi Eclipse when he passed his driving test. Two friends in the car, he's doing sixty down a local road. That's pretty damn fast, and yes, too fast for a country road with limited visibility. How did he crash? His friend at the last second yelled "turn here!", and the guy tried to do a 90 degree turn. At 60mph. Instead of just keeping on the road. Speed didn't cause the crash- stupidity and lack of experience with what the car was (and was NOT) capable of did. A huge number of accidents are caused by people being very reactionary, like risking taking a short space to turn, instead of waiting 5-10 seconds for a much longer one.

It is similar to the lack of distinction between "accidents" and "collisions". If an asteroid hits your car and you crash, that's an accident. Pretty much everything else is driver error.

Most people don't have the foggiest idea of how to control their vehicle. The simplest concepts, such as weight transfer, basic cornering technique, or friction circles (which describe the capabilities of a tire) - aren't taught or tested at all. Most people also have a "I put gas in it and oil, that's all I should have to do" mindset to car maintenance. When I'm talking to someone about car maintenance and I ask how old their brake fluid is, they a)can't remember and b)ask why. Brake fluid is like a dessicant- it absorbs water from the atmosphere. When it does, its boiling point drops substantially (brake fluid should be changed at a minimum of every 2 years, and that means flushing, not just siphoning out the reservoir).

Improving driver education would be a huge step in the right direction. Teach people what maintenance is required typically, and teach them HOW TO CONTROL a vehicle!

Would COST me money, even with discount... (1)

RabidMoose (746680) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975878)

I'm a pizza delivery driver. The faster I can get to somebody's house, the sooner I can make my next delivery. The more deliveries I make, the more money I make. A discount of $4/month (on a a fee which doesn't apply to me, being in US), would cost me nearly $100/month in productivity (speeding, running red lights at 2am when there isn't another car in sight, etc.)

Better idea - RFID tracking of vehicles... (1)

TheRealStyro (233246) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975886)

Instead of trying to remove driver control, a better idea would be to just track the vehicle and send applicable fines.

A vehicle could have under-engine/cockpit RFID transponder that would be read by road sensors. The vehicle RFID would transmit the vehicle ID as well as that of the driver (driver would have logon to vehicle to start/drive it). The vehicle passing over sensors would be recorded on central systems and the vehicle speed calculated and recorded. Regular audits on the central system records would produce speeding violations and tickets/fines would be printed and sent to the responsible driver (or vehicle owner).

If you change the laws so that the fines are based on a fixed amount plus a percentage of the driver/vehicle-owner gross income then people might start believing the speed limit is the maximum, not minimum, allowed speed.

Careless vs Necessary Speeding (5, Insightful)

axonal (732578) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975887)

Passing another vehicle on the road is perfect example. You have to accelerate to pass the car that is in front of you. A legal move.

A car that decides to cross a road at a moment you are going through that road. In certain circumstances, the car could t-bone into you if the driver "assumes" you will continue to go faster. To avoid this, you speed up to miss him from hitting you from the side.

While probably very rare, if you are at a railroad crossing with about four tracks, and the speed limit there is 15 (I've seen areas with 5-10MPH signs near train tracks) and the gates start closing in on you, you can't accelerate to get out.

One time, a police officer sort of gave me "permission" to speed. It was an area where the highway forked, and traffic on the right side was at a standstill, and I was the only one of the left. Over the PA he gave me a "go ahead" to go faster than so he could get through to the other fork. There was no shoulder for me to turn off onto, so this was the only option of him to get by.

I'm sure there are a lot more examples where speeding is necessary on the road. Its the careless speeding that needs to be enforced. People that go 100+ on a highway of average 65-70 MPH drivers.

What the device should do, is somehow gather the average speed of cars in the area, and limit speed to the average so there are no careless speeders.

Discount? (1)

dedeman (726830) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975889)

"A study commissioned by London's transport planners has recommended that motorists who install it should be rewarded with a discount on the congestion charge, which tomorrow rises to £8 a day.

Gotta love that. What good is a "discount" when the price rise offsets the benefit. There is a difference between a "discount" and "lack of surchage", as there is a difference betwwen "free" and "free, with committment". Remember Columbia House, .01 for the first 8 albums, the next 200 for regular price. This would be a discount with obligation, a price rise to discourage dissent

Discount my ass.

Anyway, imposing a system like this is another exmaple of govt. overstepping its bounds and creating blanket legislation. There will always be emergencies that the GPS unit could not account for. Unless there is a manual override, this may be more dangerous then good.

There will be people who say that to protect "my kids", everyone should be required to have one of these devices in their car. BS. Go to Germany and see the big long road where there is no speed limit, and there are fewer accidents per 100,000 miles then in the US.

We need driver responsibility rather then gadgetry to make our roads safer. I am a good driver, even "speeding", which, by the way, is a relative term. Don't limit my driving ability because there are bad/inconsiderate drivers on the road.

Move to the Isle Of Man (1)

fyfe (629992) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975899)

Guess I'll just have to move to the Isle Of Man and take my motorbike with me

one word (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 8 years ago | (#12975901)

YUCK!
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