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TfL to trial Intelligent Speed Adaptation technology

Mon 11 May 2009 | Back to news list | More bus news

Transport for London has announced a six-month trial of Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) technology which, it is hoped, may improve road safety, reduce speeding and cut vehicle emissions.

The introduction of ISA technology will mean that a vehicle can recognise the permitted or recommended speed limit on any road in London within the M25 area. This typically involves a global positioning system (GPS) in the vehicle, linked to a digital road map. The ISA has an optional disable button, at which point it reverts to an advisory status where the current, legal speed limit is simply displayed as a driver aid. Drivers can also over-ride the unit disabling the system entirely.

The TfL test vehicles will include a London bus, a licensed taxi and 20 cars driven by road engineers, traffic managers and highway inspectors, which will be outfitted with the device. TfL claims that if two-thirds of all London drivers used ISA devices, the number of road casualties in the London area could be reduced by 10 per cent.

The UK Government’s Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) and the Motorists’ Forum (MF) recently issued a joint report undertaken by the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds evaluating the impact of implementing an ISA system across the entire road network. The study looked at ISA technology's potential to reduce deaths and injuries on the UK roads and to cut fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. The Leeds researchers concluded that the calculated social benefits of the accident savings were significantly greater than the value of fuel and CO2 saved.

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