Road safety Traffic management

The Role of ISA: Addressing Speeding in Helmond

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

As a response to concerns about speeding and its impact on quality of life, Helmond is actively involved in managing various ISA projects. René Spaan, Project Leader Smart Mobility at the City of Helmond, shares the city’s plan to create a safer and more sustainable community. 

Intertraffic: Can you introduce yourself briefly?

My name is René Spaan, Project leader Smart Mobility at the City of Helmond. I’m involved in managing and coordinating various Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) projects for the city such as the ISA-FIT project.

Intertraffic: What are the benefits of Intelligent Speed Assistant for a city like Helmond?

René Spaan: As a city, one of the major complaints we receive is about speeding in the neighbourhood, or at least the experience of cars driving too fast. This is often reported by citizens even if there is no physical evidence of speeding. This highlights the importance of addressing not only actual speeding but also the perception of speeding, which can have an impact on people's quality of life.

The city of Helmond is committed to finding innovative solutions to address speeding and improve road safety for all. This includes exploring the potential of ISA as a tool for enforcing speed limits, reducing the need for traditional speed enforcement methods that can be expensive and time-consuming. By prioritizing road safety and investing in infrastructure and technology, Helmond is working to create a safer and more sustainable community for all its citizens.

Intertraffic: Will drivers accept such a system in their car?

René Spaan: Drivers' acceptance of ISA may be influenced by various factors such as their driving habits, attitudes towards technology, and perceptions of safety. However, research has demonstrated that the majority of drivers are open to the concept of ISA and are willing to adopt it if they perceive its benefits. Therefore, the city has a crucial role to play in promoting the adoption of ISA by drivers, through a combination of initiatives such as enhancing physical road infrastructure, ensuring accuracy in digital mapping and data, collaborating with relevant stakeholders, and conducting public outreach and education campaigns. By collaborating in this manner, we as a city can ensure that our roads are prepared for the integration of ISA technology and that drivers are provided with the necessary information and resources to use it safely and effectively.

Intertraffic: This is a retrofit tool. When will car manufacturers implement ISA?

René Spaan: ISA is already being implemented by some car manufacturers in Europe, and the technology is expected to become more widespread in the coming years. In 2022, the European Union made ISA mandatory for all new passenger cars, vans, and trucks sold in the EU. This means that car manufacturers must include ISA in their vehicles from mid-2022 onwards.

It is worth noting that the implementation of ISA may vary by car model and manufacturer, and not all vehicles may have the technology as standard yet. It is also important to consider that even with ISA technology, drivers may choose to disable or override the system, so widespread adoption and usage will depend on various factors such as driver education, awareness, and acceptance of the technology.

There are various types of ISA systems available, and it's important to note that car manufacturers can choose which type to install in their vehicles. It's also worth noting that many people may not be aware of these different types of ISA systems. 

In the case of the retrofit tool tested at ISA-FIT, we utilize a Speed Control function that requires drivers to override the system if they wish to exceed the speed limit. This feature is designed to help drivers stay aware of their speed and avoid unintentionally exceeding the limit.


Intertraffic: What kind of new insights for industry do you hope to gather in the ISA – FIT project?

René Spaan: Through the analysis of objective data, we have gained valuable insights into driver behavior and the performance of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems. One of the key technical challenges that we have identified is the need for highly accurate and precise map data, including information on speed limits and speed signs. This becomes especially important when implementing ISA systems at scale across different countries within the European Union and beyond.

In order to evaluate the user experience of ISA systems, we conducted tests using multiple cars equipped with the ISA-FIT retrofit solution in neighbourhoods that had up-to-date digital speed limit information and accurate digital speed signs. Our findings indicated that users had a positive experience and found the ISA system highly beneficial to use. 

Another new insight is that we as the city of Helmond started the development of an innovative feedback system that can benefit the industry by enabling the digitization and maintenance of physical road infrastructure. The system involves installing ISA retrofit tools in vehicles to scan roads daily for missing traffic signs and verifying speed limits on digital maps. These vehicles equipped with Retrofit ISA technology can act as driving sensors, collecting valuable data and information about physical and digital infrastructure. This data can then be validated and shared with national access points, such as NDW. besides the fact that our own internal organisation benefits enormously from this, we also see the added value for service procurers.


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