Intelligent speed assistance (ISA) set to become mandatory across Europe

With the General Vehicle Safety Regulation (EU) 2019/2144, the Commission has taken unprecedented action to help the transport sector and public authorities prepare for the mobility of tomorrow. The objective is to protect Europeans against traffic accidents, poor air quality and climate change, empower them with new mobility solutions that match their changing needs, and defend the competitiveness of European industry.

As of 23 June, the delegated act “Technical requirements and test procedure for approval of intelligent speed assistance (ISA)” has been adopted. The act will now be sent to the European Parliament and Council for two-month scrutiny.

From July 2022, Intelligent speed assistance (ISA) will be mandatory for new models/types of vehicles introduced on the market. The ISA will become mandatory for all new cars that will be sold from July 2024 (therefore it will not concern the vehicle fleet already registered and in circulation before that date).


The ISA system

The ISA system is required to work with the driver and not to restrict his/her possibility to act in any moment during driving. The driver is always in control and can easily override the ISA system.

The ISA regulation provides four options for systems feedback to the driver, from which car manufacturers will be free to choose from:

  1. Cascaded acoustic warning
  2. Cascaded vibrating warning
  3. Haptic feedback through the acceleration pedal
  4. Speed control function

The first two feedback options do not directly intervene but only provide warnings (first optic and if no response from the driver, a delayed acoustic/vibrating warning), which have to be as short as possible in duration to avoid potential annoyance of the driver.

The other possible feedback relies on the pedal restoring force - it will push the driver’s foot gently back to make the driver aware and help to slow down. The driver can ignore this feedback and override the system by pushing slightly harder on the acceleration pedal. Even in the case of speed control function, where the car speed will be automatically gently reduced, the system can be smoothly overridden by the driver by pressing the accelerator pedal a little bit deeper.


Safer roads

The roll out of ISA is a huge step forward for road safety and has the potential to dramatically reduce road traffic injuries and fatalities. Car manufacturers now have the opportunity to maximise the potential ISA presents for creating safer roads for all.