Seat's head of connected car and infotainment claims the technology is there for governments to easily put blanket speed restrictions on new cars
25 June 2019

One of the Volkswagen Group’s senior figures in in-car technology has confirmed it has reached the point where governments could insist that cars no longer break speed limits.

Leyre Olavarria, head of connected car and infotainment for Seat, admitted that cars actively preventing drivers from breaking a speed limit does not pose a technical challenge, given ‘intelligent speed assistance’ will be made mandatory from 2022

Asked what would happen if governments legislated for cars to no longer be capable of exceeding speed limits, in order to reduce road casualties and remove the cost of buying, installing and maintaining networks of speed cameras, Olavarria told Autocar: “From a technical perspective, it is possible. We can do it. It’s more a legal issue; how do regulators want to position themselves. It’s not a technical challenge to do that – the data is available.”

Some experts envision a future where drivers may choose to opt out, and switch off any system that prevented them from breaking a speed limit, in much the same way it is possible to cancel the electronic stability control system of some cars.

As the connected car and associated data becomes commonplace, many drivers have expressed concerns over the potential for data to be used against them. Olavarria said that, at present, GDPR data protection law clearly defines that data associated with driving remains private and the property of the owner of the vehicle.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

“We are GDPR-compliant, and that is our priority. The data belongs to our customers and they are the only ones who can release the data. But if the law changes, then we will change as well and adapt our policies,” said Olavarria. 

Modern cars already alert the emergency services in the event of a serious accident. And Hyundai recently revealed that it was working with MDGo, a company that specialises in medical artificial intelligence systems, to provide detailed predictions about likely injuries to vehicle occupants, based on the forces involved, deployment of airbags and more. 

Olavarria manages Seat’s new software development centre, which is leading research and development solutions around micro mobility on behalf of the Volkswagen Group.

She defines micro mobility as being based on small vehicles, with two, three or four wheels, that will be used over short distances. “Looking into the future, there are many cities… that are trying to push the car out of the city centre but still there are mobility needs; people need to move from A to B. That’s what we are focused on,” said Olavarria. 

“As we are based in Barcelona, in the city centre, it’s kind of the perfect playground to test and make rapid prototyping in the real environment, and know about the city and mobility partners and better understand citizens’ needs and how mobility needs are changing.”

Seat claims to be platform agnostic, exploring subscription services that could, in the future, allow for individuals to subscribe to a mobility service that is priced according to a monthly mileage that allows users to seamlessly switch from a car to public transport to electric scooter or autonomous vehicles.

Olavarria is confident there will still be demand to sustain volume car manufacturing in the future, despite the millennial generation embracing shared transport solutions.

James Mills

Read more

Intelligent speed assistance: everything you need to know

Speed limiters may create more dangers than they prevent

Matt Prior: right to survive beats right to drive

Join the debate

Comments
16

25 June 2019

A quick Google on search terms like police dash cam and notice of intended prosecution throw up lots of cases of drivers aready being held to account by other motorists. Quite often the thread starts with the poster being advised to 'stick it to the man's and loads of I'll informed comment about how the speeding/dangerous driver is going to get off. The thread usually ends with a moan about the size of the fine, the cost of the insurance hike and the general hassle.

This is the inevitable consequence of the proliferation of electronic recording devices. Speed limit controls are coming the real question is setting the limits at the correct level - that means dropping them in accident areas and near pedestrians and raising them where it is safe to do so.

And none of the 'i needed to accelerate to avoid danger' - it's not a sensible argument backed up by any rational evidence.

25 June 2019

A quick Google on search terms like police dash cam and notice of intended prosecution throw up lots of cases of drivers aready being held to account by other motorists. Quite often the thread starts with the poster being advised to 'stick it to the man's and loads of I'll informed comment about how the speeding/dangerous driver is going to get off. The thread usually ends with a moan about the size of the fine, the cost of the insurance hike and the general hassle.

This is the inevitable consequence of the proliferation of electronic recording devices. Speed limit controls are coming the real question is setting the limits at the correct level - that means dropping them in accident areas and near pedestrians and raising them where it is safe to do so.

And none of the 'i needed to accelerate to avoid danger' - it's not a sensible argument backed up by any rational evidence.

25 June 2019

I would be quite happy to drive a car which didn't let me speed. My current vehicle can be set to limit my speed to a preset amount - but I choose what that is. It also has a built in satnav which shows me the limits for the roads I'm on. So linking these together shouldn't be a technical challenge. What I would like to see is appropriate speed limits. It seems crazy to me that I can travel on a 4 lane dual carraigeway or motorway with a 40 limit, turn off onto a narrow country lane with blind bends and passing places and suddenly I can do 60.

"Pressurised container: May burst if heated"

25 June 2019

It's only sensible to enforce both ends of the speed restrictions.

Going under 40mph on a motorway can get you a fine, so all vehicles should be forced to go faster. This is backed by evidence I can't quantify or present.....

.

Going faster than a 70mph speed limit should be permissable, as a 70mph speed limit is not backed by any evidence whatsoever. There is no reason it's 70mph, it was plucked from thin air at a time when vehicles could barely attain that speed.

To use the same rationale today, the speed limit should be 110mph.

This, obviously, is not correct - but aligns with the rationale for picking 70mph (no rationale at all).

Those German autobahns with no speed restriction are far safer than all UK motorways. Our infrastructure is poor.

There is no evidence 70mph is the safest speed.

There is evidence smart motorways (where everyone's speed is contained) cause accidents, however - particularly where the authorities deliberately try and catch people out by lowering the speed limit for a single gantry. Disgraceful.

25 June 2019
CarNut170 wrote:

There is evidence smart motorways (where everyone's speed is contained) cause accidents, however - particularly where the authorities deliberately try and catch people out by lowering the speed limit for a single gantry. Disgraceful.

The southern approach to the Dartford Crossing is terrible for this. Numerous gantries. On my last trip11 days ago I passed a gantry showing 60, could see the next was 50 and the one beyond 60 again. As I approached the 50 it suddenly changed to 40, I braked (but not so hard as to alarm passengers or following traffic) went under at 45 and was flashed - no ticket yet. All the while the 3rd gantry still displaying 60. No obvious issues to cause these differing limits, traffic was light and no one had broken down or had an accident.

"Pressurised container: May burst if heated"

25 June 2019

I asked the same question on my speed awareness course! What if the speed changes as I'm on or near the speed sign. You have about 60 seconds before it's enforced. Or put another way, 1 mile away at 60mph!

 

 

 

25 June 2019
CarNut170 wrote:

Those German autobahns with no speed restriction are far safer than all UK motorways.

Citation needed.

Here's one that suggests the opposite is true:

https://www.thelocal.de/20190201/are-germanys-autobahns-really-the-safest-highways-in-the-world

25 June 2019

Vw had better get their act together with the mapping speed data they use, the speed limit info on their map is very often incorrect, showing 60 on a motorway or dual carriageway, 40 in a national limit, or worse, higher speed limits when the actual limits are lower.

they would also need to sort out the tailgaters at the same time, who sit one car length behind, no matter what the speed your doing.

and finally, the posted limit set by the council, Oxfordshire council have just dropped a speed limit from the national limit to 40, theres is absolutely no justification for it, its a straight road, no houses, no schools, its not narrow, it has a proper path on one side, its not tree lined, absolutely no reason.

25 June 2019

i live in oxford and drive around daily. what part of oxford did this speed limit drop occur?

25 June 2019

It would be suicide for any manufacture to go it alone and 'stop cars speeding for good'. Also, there's no way a goverment will introduce the system for similar reasons, a non-accountable EU might though. Good luck with that on the Autobahns Fritz 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week