Intelligent Speed Adaptation: Is European Research Relevant to the United States?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 11:30am

About the Event

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is a driver-assistance system that brings speed limits into the vehicle. The information can be used to inform the driver of changes in the speed limit, warn the driver when the speed limit is being exceeded, and prevent speeding through a link to the vehicle drivetrain. Research in Europe on this system has been going on systematically since the mid-1990s, with field operational tests (FOTs) taking place in several countries, most recently in France and the United Kingdom.

The response to ISA in the United States has generally been “good idea but not feasible here.” So what makes it more acceptable in Europe? Has acceptance changed over time? And what would it take for ISA to become acceptable to the U.S. public? This talk will cover both attitudinal and behavioral results from the FOTs, especially from the United Kingdom ISA trials. It will also look at the accident savings and environmental benefits from ISA.


Oliver Carsten is a professor of transport safety with the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds. Carsten did his undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Subsequently he worked at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) for 10 years. He joined the Institute for Transport Studies in 1987.

Carsten has been project coordinator of several European projects, including HOPES, which examined the safety impacts of various field trials; VRU-TOO, which applied new technologies to improve the safety and mobility of pedestrians; HINT, which examined the human implications of new technologies; and HASTE, which has studied the effect on driving performance and safety of using in-vehicle information systems. He has led the development of the advanced driving simulator at Leeds and has directed projects to examine techniques for reducing unsafe driving on rural arterial roads and for investigating the benefits of Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). Work on ISA includes leading the UK External Vehicle Speed Control project and the recent ISA-UK project. He has been chair of the DRIVE I safety and behavioural group, was a member of the DRIVE Safety Task Force, is chair of the Road User Behaviour Working Party of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, and is a member of the Programme Management Panel of the UK Foresight Vehicle Programme. He is the author of numerous reports and articles on traffic safety.