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.