Satellites To Limit Your Driving Speed

Tired of choosing how fast to drive? Your worries will soon be over. Britain's Department of Transport is working hard on a system they call Intelligent Speed Adaptation.

Cars equipped with "sophisticated satellite navigation systems" running over roads that have been fully digitized (all of the speed rules encapsulated) will have three different types of control available:

The first, known as "advisory", would stop short of actually slowing the car down and would instead issue a voice alert reminding the motorist what the speed limit is.

A second version would either apply the brakes or cut the fuel supply to the engine, slowing it down to the speed limit, but a driver would be able to override the system either by depressing the accelerator pedal firmly or pressing a button.

The third would take over complete control of the car and the driver would not be able to override the system at all.

Trials are in progress in the first phase with cars in Leeds, England.

This system will make you long for the days when you just had a machine that printed out a ticket automatically whenever you exceeded the speed limit, like in Nat Schachner's wonderful 1941 story Old Fireball.

"Here y'are, buddy." The gyrodriver came to a halt. "The Gem Saloon in four minutes flat. And I got me a fine, too. Doing a hundred an' twenty on a city street. See up there!"

Kerry looked obediently at the little oblong screen above the dashboard. On it, flashing neatly, was imprinted a summons for violation of the traffic laws. The photoelectric eyes at each crossing had clocked the gyro's speed. As it passed the legal limit, the automatic mechanism recorded the offender's license, sent out the impulses that printed the summons in the offender's cab.
(Read more about Schachner's automatic speeding fine)

Via Telegraph UK.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/18/2008)

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