ISA technology may be coming to the UK soon

Greg Simpson

1 Mar 2022

Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology may be coming to the UK soon but Road Angel is already 15 years up the road!

Still…here’s everything you need to know…

We’ve been ahead of the curve on this for over a decade here at Road Angel but a major change to European driving law is coming this summer – and despite Brexit it’s likely to impact UK drivers, from single car owners to fleet managers with thousands of vehicles.

The good news is, we’ve been compliant with this for over 15 years so if you have a Road angel, we’ve got you covered…if not, you need to read on!

News has broken that the European Commission has ruled that every vehicle manufactured in Europe on or after 6th July 2022 must be fitted with Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology. Manufacturers will be able to choose from a number of audio and vibration-based systems designed to warn drivers when they exceed the speed limit. These include cascaded acoustic and/or vibrating warnings, “haptic feedback through the acceleration pedal” and a speed control function.

According to the European Commission, ISA technology will subsequently become mandatory for “all new cars sold from July 2024.”  Only vehicles already in circulation prior to this date will be exempt. At Road Angel, we believe in a safety-first approach, but is EU ISA technology actually safe? The initial signs are somewhat reassuring. 

The EC has made it clear that the technology will be overridable – a feature we believe is vital to ensure drivers’ safety in the most dangerous situations. The system “will work with” drivers and not restrict their ability to “act at any moment during driving”, which means that if you’re really in trouble and need to act fast, you’ll still be able to do so.

With the audio and vibration-based options, an optic warning will come first if you’re over the limit, followed by an audio message if you fail to respond. The EC insists that this technology won’t intervene in the driving process, rather, it is simply designed to alert you to your speed.  The haptic (touch-based) option “will push the driver’s foot gently back to make the driver aware and help to slow down.” Again, this will be overridable, so drivers won’t get trapped in sticky situations.

In tabling the proposals, the EC faced some resistance from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), which called for technology which would automatically turn off a car’s engine in the event of the speed limit being breached.  However, the ETSC has now welcomed the legislation. Indeed, one could contend that cutting a vehicle’s engine mid-journey presents drivers with a different set of dangers – something that surely influenced the EC’s thinking.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the ETSC, said the new rules were “a massive step forward” in the drive to prevent road deaths and could save as many as 25,000 lives each year. He said: “Thanks to this legislation, the latest safety technologies will be fitted as standard on new vehicles in Europe. Importantly, the new requirements will also improve the safety of all road users, not just vehicle occupants.”

Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology could be coming to the UK soon, and here at Road Angel we support any legislation that puts safety first on UK roads.  Given that EU ISA technology is designed not to make distracting interventions, giving drivers a significant degree of control, we think it’s all to the good. 

Remember, at Road Angel, we’ve had this technology in our range since 2006, so if you want to comply, just continue to use our award-winning range of products.  If you haven’t got a Road Angel, we could save you a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, especially if you operate a fleet of vehicles!