London To Get Smart-Arse Sat-Navs


Driving in London is already a pain in the behind but it could become even more so as new sat-nav technology is being tested that will tell drivers to slow down if they are going too fast.

Transport For London (TfL) has developed an intelligent map of London that sat-navs tap into and then proceed to tell you when you are driving too fast. Even worse, they are about to trial a more restrictive version of the Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) system that actually takes the decision out of your hands by reducing acceleration if it detects you going to fast in a particular area. Ten TfL vans and cars have been fitted with this version for testing.

ISA is a Europe-wide initiative to get drivers to drive more carefully and has been tested in other countries. There are three versions of the system:

1. The open ISA warns the driver (visibly and/or audibly) that the speed limit is being exceeded. The driver him/herself decides whether or not to slow down. This is an informative or advisory system.

2. The half-open ISA increases the pressure on the accelerator pedal when the speed limit is exceeded (the ‘active accelerator’). Maintaining the same speed is possible, but less comfortable because of the counter pressure.

3. The closed ISA limits the speed automatically if the speed limit is exceeded. It is possible to make this system mandatory or voluntary. In the latter case, drivers may choose to switch the system on or off.

Tom-Tom users will the first, er, lucky folk to be told to slow down by the posh voice on the dashboard but others are in talks with TfL too. Great, just great.

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