Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), also known as Intelligent Speed Assistance, is any system that constantly monitors vehicle speed and the local speed limit on a road and implements an action when the vehicle is detected to be exceeding the speed limit. This can be done through an advisory system, where the driver is warned, or through an intervention system where the driving systems of the vehicle are controlled automatically to reduce the vehicle?s speed.
Intelligent speed adaptation uses information about the road on which the vehicle travels to make decisions about what the correct speed should be. This information can be obtained through use of a digital maps incorporating roadway coordinates as well as data on the speed zoning for that roadway at that location, through general speed zoning information for a defined geographical area (e.g., an urban area which has a single defined speed limit), or through feature recognition technology that detects and interprets speed limit signage. ISA systems are designed to detect and alert a driver when a vehicle has entered a new speed zone, when variable speed zones are in force (e.g., variable speed limits in school zones that apply at certain times of the day and only on certain days), and when temporary speed zones are imposed (such as speed limit changes in adverse weather or during traffic congestion, at accident scenes, or near roadworks ). Many ISA systems will also provide information about locations where hazards may occur (e.g., in high pedestrian movement areas, railway level crossings or railroad grade crossings, schools, hospitals, etc.) or where enforcement actions is indicated (e.g., speed camera and red light camera locations). The purpose of ISA is to assist the driver in keeping to the lawful speed limit at all times, particularly as they pass through different speed ?zones?. This is particularly useful when drivers are in unfamiliar areas or when they pass through areas where variable speed limits are used.
Most motorists do not appreciate the extra risks involved in travelling just a few km/h over the speed limit. Most think that the risk of a casualty crash is doubled if you are travelling at least 25 km/h over the speed limit. Research has found that that, in urban areas, the risk of a casualty crash is doubled for each 5 km/h over the limit. So travelling at 70 km/h in a 60 km/h zone quadruples the risk of a crash in which someone is hospitalised. As a result, it is estimated that about 10% of casualties could be prevented if the large group of motorists who routinely travel at up to 10 km/h over the limit were encouraged to obey the speed limits. About 20% of casualties could be prevented if all vehicles complied with the speed limits. Savings in fatal crashes would be larger."Minor" speeding therefore makes up a large proportion of preventable road trauma. It is difficult for enforcement methods alone to have an effect on this minor speeding. An added problem is that even motorists who want to obey the speed limits (to keep their life, licence or livelihood) have difficulty doing so in modern cars on city roads. This is where an ISA system comes into its own.
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