Recently, the Indian government is spearheading campaigns to increase road safety, a trend reflected in various parts of the world, where governments are using AI technology to enforce the rules of the road. Intelligent speed assistance, or software that automatically slows down a car to avoid collision, is gaining heavy traction from both car manufacturers and lawmakers alike. Though controversial for drivers who prefer full control of their speedometers, the AI software is seen as a friendly alternative to driverless cars that can prevent accidents caused by human error worldwide.
Intelligent Speed Limiters
Among many emerging advances in car safety technology, intelligent speed assistance stands out as a key factor in the manufacturing of new cars. The software, which automatically reduces the speed of a vehicle when it is quickly approaching an upcoming object, is generally offered as an optional feature from most auto brands on the market. However, the European Union is expected to pass regulations mandating speed limiters in all new car productions, which is predicted to reduce the number of collision deaths in Europe by 20%. Speed limitations are also thought to help encourage comprehensive auto insurance plans, as they reduce the likelihood of collisions due to human error.
A Friendly Form of AI
Intelligence speed limitations are seen as a popular alternative to driverless cars, which have a 70% disapproval rating from drivers worldwide. Critics agree that driverless cars must be assessed as “extremely safe” in order to be accepted by mainstream society, given widespread doubts over autonomous driving. However, although intelligence speed limits use similar AI technology to driverless cars, they are seen as widely more accepted by the general public who still prefer the idea of humans behind the wheel. Conversely, experts in favor of autonomous driving argue that it eliminates the factor of human error: the source of roughly 94% of car accidents worldwide. Intelligent speed assistance is also associated with lower fuel emissions and decreased speeding fines: two advantages frequently cited by proponents of autonomous driving.
Although public perception of intelligent speed adaptation is strong, various interest groups are opposing policy initiatives that would mandate internal speed limitation. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) is strongly opposed to the imposition of intelligent speed assistance, believing instead that the technology should be used to issue a ‘warning’ signal on the dashboard when drivers go above the speed limit. In America, critics of intelligent speed assistance argue that the software infringes on individual rights by automatically mandating a lower speed on the road. In most cases, however, intelligent speed limiters can be switched off if needed, which likely boosts their appeal to the general public.
Car safety tech is permanently changing and, with it, so too will policies and laws designed to protect citizens on the road. Although public reaction to intelligent speed assistance varies, policy experts agree that change is needed to offset the effects of heavy traffic and an increasingly car-reliant society.