Speed Limits Reinforced: Cars to Feature Computerized Speed Regulation

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Economy | 0 comments

Starting next month, every new car sold in Europe will come equipped with a system known as Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), designed to limit vehicle speed. While some imported cars in Israel already feature this technology, the numbers are currently limited. However, the importation of ISA-equipped vehicles is set to increase significantly starting next month, and by January, all new cars adhering to European standards sold in Israel must include this system. This new mandate has created technical challenges for the Israeli car market, prompting some importers to devise strategies to manage the transition.

Understanding ISA Systems

ISA, or Intelligent Speed Assistance, is a system utilizing sensors to detect speed limits displayed on road signs. If a vehicle exceeds the speed limit, the system alerts the driver with audible warnings and steering wheel vibrations. The ISA system activates automatically when the vehicle starts, and drivers must manually deactivate it at the beginning of each trip if they prefer not to receive constant alerts.

Global Standards and Implementation

Various regions worldwide adhere to different vehicle regulations, including European, American, Canadian, Chinese, and South American standards. The European standard, which mandates the ISA system, applies to any car marketed in Europe, regardless of its manufacturing origin. The European Union began enforcing this requirement in 2022, allowing a two-year adaptation period, which concludes next month. Thereafter, every new car model marketed in Europe must be equipped with an ISA system.

Impact on the Israeli Car Market

Israel’s car market follows three sets of standards: European, American, and Canadian. The choice of Canadian standards stems from the country’s use of kilometers per hour on speedometers, aligning with the American market. Consequently, what applies to European standards also impacts Israel. A five-month adjustment period has been granted, meaning all new vehicles manufactured under European standards and imported to Israel must have an ISA system starting January. This impending mandate will flood the European car market with ISA-equipped vehicles, significantly boosting their import volume to Israel.

Cost and Implementation Challenges

The ISA system is not inexpensive, adding tens to hundreds of dollars to a car’s price. Car importers hope for tax credits to offset this cost, but it is unlikely the credits will fully cover the system’s price. Additionally, there are current issues with ISA systems accurately reading speed signs in Israel, necessitating adjustments to the vehicles’ sensors.

Strategies for Compliance

Car importers in Israel have a few strategies to manage the new requirement. One approach is to import a large number of cars in December and clear customs before the new standard takes effect in January 2025. Another strategy involves shifting from European to other standards, such as Canadian standards, which do not require the ISA system. For instance, importers might request models meeting Canadian standards if those models are marketed in both Europe and Canada. Manufacturers like Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and Subaru, which produce models for multiple markets, including Japan, Korea, the USA, and Canada, offer such alternatives. By importing vehicles that comply with Canadian standards, importers can bypass the ISA system requirement.

The mandatory inclusion of Intelligent Speed Assistance systems in new cars marks a significant shift in the driving experience, intertwining regulation and technology in an unprecedented manner. While these systems aim to enhance road safety by ensuring compliance with speed limits, they also introduce a level of invasiveness that changes the traditional autonomy drivers have enjoyed. The constant monitoring and automatic enforcement of speed limits by computerized systems can feel intrusive, altering the dynamic between driver and vehicle. As we move towards a future where technology plays a more dominant role in driving, the balance between safety and personal freedom will be continually tested. The challenge lies in embracing these advancements without compromising the essence of the driving experience, ensuring that innovation enhances rather than diminishes the joy and freedom of the open road.

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