July 19, 2006

I've got a good idea…

I've come up with a brilliant idea. The EU are always making us do stupid things, using the excuse that everyone else in Europe has to do it too.

This isn't always bad. For instance our car emissions standards, if replicated in the US, would mean they wouldn't require ANY oil from the Middle East. That's right. SUV drivers are responsible for the war in Iraq.

But that's not my point.

The EU should introduce compulsory cruise control in all new cars. It'd be like the button Formula 1 drivers press when they enter the pit–lane, but would limit cars at 30mph. Whenever a driver enters a 30mph zone, they could elect to press the button and the car will be brought down to a steady 29.9mph.

It makes sense, doesn't it? It's very easy to drift well over 30mph without really trying. And constantly looking at the speedo means you're always taking your eyes off the road. It would slash the number of speeding drivers in residential areas. But of course it would slash income made from speed cameras, and so would probably never happen.

Anyway, it's genius, I reckon.


- 16 comments by 4 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Chris May

    One of my friends once had a merc SLK with this feature; it was absolutely brilliant. You could override it, should you need to, by flooring the accelerator, otherwise it would just throttle back the engine when you got to 30/50/whatever MPH. I've often thought I'd like to have it, but I've never seen it on any cars that I could afford :–)

    19 Jul 2006, 12:47

  2. Steve Rumsby

    A month or so ago I drove a Golf with cruise control. It was brilliant on the Motorways – set it at 70 and just sit there. Even better through restricted roadworks sessions – set it to 50 and watch everybody else sail through the cameras!

    And as Chris says, doing the obvious things will override it. Press the accelerator and you'll go faster, and when you release it again you'll settle back down to the set speed. Press the brake and you'll slow down (obviously), but the cruise control disengages and you have to switch a button to re–engage it, so you don't start speeding up again immediately.

    I didn't try it in 30mph zones, because they usually also involve lots of changes of speed – you don't often sit at exactly 30 for very long, so there didn't seem much point!

    I liked it a lot.

    When the newer systems become more mainstream that detect obstacles in front and automatically slow down, or stop if necessary, and those that automatically steer to keep you in the middle of your lane, long journeys will become much more pleasant… Just go to sleep and wake up when you get there:–)

    19 Jul 2006, 13:06

  3. That's a good idea actually, I'd never really thought about cruise control for slow speeds like that. I imagine that most people (myself included) only ever thought of cruise control as a convenience thing for motorways.

    Go write to your MEP :)

    19 Jul 2006, 13:49

  4. Catherine Fenn

    Tried and tested a few Peugeot models with cruise control. (Another's company cars)

    On long hauls up the M6 worked like a dream. Smooth to disengage when required and let you arrive 100s of miles later feeling fairly chilled (possibly helped by the air con on these models?)

    Couldn't say the same for 30mph zones. As above (2) I've never found one obstacle free enough to sustain a cruising speed.

    In principle I like the idea of developing systems that can detect obstacles etc. (beyond the things that currently bleep when parking in tight spaces).

    Wouldn't probably help the little (possibly heat affected) squirrel that just couldn't work out if it was coming or going on Tile Hill Lane yesterday. This little fella was lucky the car heading towards me had already stopped so I spotted it. Wonder if it survived the rest of the evening…?

    19 Jul 2006, 13:51

  5. Ah, but my idea would be that the button would be more of a limiter than actual cruise control. So you could be driving at 50mph, and as you come into the 30mph zone, it slows the car down when you push the button. From then on, the car wouldn't let you go over 30mph unless you pushed the button again (turning it off). Pushing the accelerator/brake would affect the speed meaning you can drive normally, except not go above 30mph.

    Alternatively you could ignore the button and try regulating the speed yourself.

    19 Jul 2006, 14:50

  6. Chris May

    That ( a speed limiter) is what my mate's merc had (it had cruise control as well...). Trying to use Cruise Control for slow speed stuff is, as everyone observes, pretty difficult because of the amount of time you need to spend below the speed limit.

    19 Jul 2006, 15:05

  7. One of my friends has a Renault Sport 182 Clio with lots of extras including a Cruise Control thingy–ma–gig. As far as I understood when you are doing a certain speed you push a button and it set this as the required speed. You can then take your feet of the gas.
    If you want to go faster you push the accelerator and you accelerate. If you release it slows down to the set speed (unless you push the button again to set it at a new speed). The same happens if you brake apart from in reverse.
    The only thing he has mentioned it that if you have to change gear it cancels the set speed (I guess otherwise it could get very confused and redline).
    But yes! I guess that these are not standard on most car!

    19 Jul 2006, 16:32

  8. Catherine Fenn

    The EU should introduce compulsory cruise control in all new cars.

    Much as I applaud your Utopian idea the cynic in me just sees this boosting sections of the used car market as the speed freaks out there opt for older models without limiters.

    Would such a safety/environmentally friendly feature only appeal to those who already have a conscience?

    19 Jul 2006, 18:32

  9. Press the brake and you'll slow down (obviously), but the cruise control disengages and you have to switch a button to re–engage it, so you don't start speeding up again immediately.

    PHEW!

    19 Jul 2006, 18:54

  10. Cruise control is an excellent tool but it does make you notice just how much variation everyone else has in their speed and how consistent the lorry drivers on the roads really are. Most of the cars I drive have CC and it is a good idea. The only danger I see with your idea in town is that many people will just drive 'on the limiter' without care for conditions the old ''I wasn't speeding so I can't be dangererous'' mentality.

    19 Jul 2006, 18:57

  11. The most effective systems to date are those developed for the Mercedes S–Class, which use radar to slow down for cars ahead (originally developed by Jaguar) and apply brakes if necessary, or apply them harder if the driver isn't applying them hard enough, and if necessary even bring the car to a complete stop. Once the way ahead is clear, the car will move off and accelerate until it reaches it's preset speed again.

    Cruise control is now available on basic cars like Peugeots and Ford Focuses. Your limiter idea is kind of interesting, I don't personally think I'd want one on my car although I don't think it's due to speed cameras that such an idea wouldn't get adopted. I am however curious as to how you think our emissions laws are tighter than America's. Although they have much worse fleet economy in the US, their laws if anything on emissions are tighter than ours. They vary from state to state, but as an example California is many, many times harsher on exhaust emissions than EU regulations.

    19 Jul 2006, 23:10

  12. I think it's a good idea. It would be a voluntary switch (thus sidestepping the whole authoritarian government thing), but I think most people would end up using it. The only time people wouldn't bother is when driving along country roads passing through villages. Most people don't slow down anywhere near enough in these situations, and I don't see them bothering to flick their 30–limiter switch either.

    20 Jul 2006, 00:34

  13. Steve Rumsby

    The problem with limiters is in those situations when you really need to accelerate suddenly to get out of a tricky situation, and having to remember to disengage the limiter first could results in a disaster. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes stomping on the gas is the safest way of getting out of trouble, and in such situations time is always of the essence.

    20 Jul 2006, 09:29

  14. Cruise control systems can be disengaged by pushing the accelerator. Maybe this 'limiter' could be disengaged by a heavy push on the accelerator? The technology's definitely there.

    20 Jul 2006, 09:54

  15. Yep it is, as Chris Sigournay has pointed out radar guided cruise control is common on luxury cars (the Audi A8, Q7, Allroad and A6 can also be so fitted) and that would be sufficient to provide a 'limiter' provided the drivers learned to keep their feet off the accelerator peddle. It is an odd sensation being in traffic with the cruise control set at 30 and the car brake down to nothing and move away on its own. I have to confess I still cover the brake peddle at all times in such situations!

    20 Jul 2006, 12:29

  16. Chris May

    Cruise control systems can be disengaged by pushing the accelerator. Maybe this 'limiter' could be disengaged by a heavy push on the accelerator? The technology's definitely there.

    I'm getting deja ecrit here (excuse my french :–)

    One of my friends once had a merc SLK with this feature; it was absolutely brilliant. You could override it, should you need to, by flooring the accelerator, otherwise it would just throttle back the engine when you got to 30/50/whatever MPH

    20 Jul 2006, 14:12


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

Twitter Go to 'Twitter / chrisdoidge'

Tetbury Online

Most recent comments

  • To quote from PM Cameron's speech at Munich Security Conference on the failure of State Multicultura… by on this entry
  • Not sure whether their installation can do that (though I assume it will), but I personally have a D… by Pierre on this entry
  • Yup. The figure at the end I guess isn't so much a sign of falling standards, as failing policy. by on this entry
  • Didn't the compulsory GCSE in a language get ditched a few years back? by on this entry
  • Yeah, that was a Brown–like kiss of death. by on this entry

Search this blog

Blog archive

Loading…

Tags

July 2006

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Jun |  Today  | Aug
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                  
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXXI