Intelligent Speed Assist Development To Continue, But Public Perception A Problem Photo:

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Mike Stevens | Jun, 07 2010 | 13 Comments

Development of Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology appears set to continue in Victoria, following last week's Government-hosted roundtable talks on road safety. ISA is a GPS-tracking system the state began testing more than one year ago.

The system, which monitors the speed of vehicles in which it is installed, is being tested in 500 cars this year - including those of around 60 convicted speedsters.

"The device has been designed to assist motorists to manage their speed," Mr Pallas said when announcing the program earlier this year.

"The Repeat Speeders Trial will see speed devices, which warn drivers when they travel over the limit, installed in the vehicles of more than 60 speeding offenders."

Mr Pallas said that the trial will see a separate group of repeat offenders attending an educational programme teaching them about the dangers of speeding. The results of both groups will then be compared.

According to the NRMA, the potential benefits for Intelligent Speed Assist could be marred by a poor reception from motorists.

Speaking with ComputerWorld recently, NRMA spokesperson Jack Haley said that there is already a strong public attitude against the technology, viewed by many as a 'Big Brother' or 'Nanny State' scheme.

"The public needs to be made aware of the technology and convinced that it’s worthwhile," Mr Haley said.

"We accept that it’s technically possible and it appears to be a good idea but you’ve got to get public acceptance or it’s going to be ignored or resisted.”

The technology, which works by tracking the speed of enabled vehicles as they travel from one point to the next, has also been tested in the UK.

In cars installed with the system, visual and audio cues will alert drivers that they are speeding. An accompanying data logger will record changes in driving behaviour, including whether they slowed down after an alert is given.

The Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) technology being tested in Victoria uses speed limit mapping technology funded by the TAC and developed by Vicroads, identifying and recording speed limits across the state.

"Drivers with a record of receiving demerit points for speeding offences will be selected and asked to trial the ISA device in their vehicle on a voluntary basis. Drivers with serious driving offences will not be included in the trial," Mr Pallas said.

"While the ISA device will be removed after three months, the data-logger will continue to monitor the driver’s speeding behaviour for a further two months to help monitor any reduction in speeding without the ISA alerts."

Mr Pallas said that the software will be available free to anyone with a suitable GPS device.

Article updated from January.

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