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  (Source: Wallpaper Den)
Bye bye autobahn

Europe has been known as the birthplace of some of the world's fastest cars with luxury-minded speed-demons from Italian brands like Volkswagen AG's (ETR:VOW) Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., German brands like Daimler AG's (ETR:DAI) Mercedes-Benz, or the UK's Bentley Motor Group Ltd. (also a Volkswagen property).  Indeed, perhaps no highway system is as famous as Germany's autobahns, where there is no enforced speed limit.

But all of that could soon be changing.

The European Union's Mobility and Transport Department -- a branch of the EU's market regulatory body, the European Commission (EC) -- is preparing an extreme proposal to counter auto fatalities in the region.  UK newspaper Telegraphcites the office of Patrick McLoughlin, the UK's Transport Secretary as warning of the controversial proposal.

EU speeding
The EU is looking to pull the plug on drivers travelling over 70 mph. [Image Source: Porsche]

Reportedly the EC approached Mr. McLoughlin with a pending proposal that sought to use an Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) scheme to prevent any new vehicles sold in the EU from going over 70 miles per hour.  The EC officials argued that the proposal was necessary to curb the over 30,000 drivers who die each year on Europe's streets.

But Mr. McLoughlin blasted the proposal; with a "government source" close his office commenting:

This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people's backs up about Brussels.  The Commission wanted [Mr. McLoughin's] views ahead of plans to publish the proposals this autumn. He made it very clear what those views were.

An EC spokesperson confirmed that talks about new speed regulation are pending, remarking:

There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses.  Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things

Aside from the more basic free market and cost issues, another problem with the proposal arguably is the fact the EU member states vary greatly in traffic fatalities.  Out of Britain's thirty eight million motorists, there are only 1,754 fatalities in 2012 -- a 0.0046 percent death rate.  By contrast Germany's forty-five million motorists in 2012 got in 3,657 fatalities -- a 0.0081 percent death rate (almost twice as high).

This controversy may be laid to rest -- or further ignited -- when self-driving (autonomous or semi-autonomous) cars hit the market.  Google, Inc. (GOOG), General Motors Comp. (GM), and Nissan Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7201) are among the companies working to bring self-driving car technology to the market.

Source: Telegraph



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RE: scary proposal.
By CaedenV on 9/3/2013 9:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is a much better idea. Perhaps have a global speed limit of say 80mph so that no matter how you hack your car you can't outrun the cops, but for in-town driving there should be a floating limiter based on local speed limitations.

Rather than a 10mph speed limit, then maybe a 15% limit? Going 30mph in a school zone is a bit out of line, but 23 is not. Similarly, if you are on a small country freeway then you may need more than a 70mph bump if you need to pass a slow poke without worrying about oncoming traffic.

... Still, I would rather not have such limitations on my car. But if we are going to have limits then lets have limits that make some sense.


RE: scary proposal.
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 2:26:29 AM , Rating: 2
The police safety camera vans can get you for doing 10% + 2mph over the limit round these parts (35, 46, 57, 68 and 79 for 30 to 70). That limit of yours would work for 35 and 46, but you'd end up with a nice letter at the other speeds.


RE: scary proposal.
By Solandri on 9/5/2013 5:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Every time I read about artificially limiting a car's top speed to prevent people from breaking the law, I'm reminded of a story from when Mt. St. Helens blew up. One of the survivors said he was doing 100 mph down the mountain road to get away from the pyroclastic flow. He passed a couple doing 70 mph in a station wagon. He lived. They died.

Yeah, I know volcanoes are exceedingly rare events. The point is that occasionally situations arise where the need for that extra speed is more important than any law.


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