Big Brother Says Slow Down: Traffic Control By Satellite; Myth or Coming Soon to the UK?

We've been following the UK's march toward state-controlled motoring with empathetic semi-amusement. With every new municipal proposal to employ technology for the sake of imposing iron will over the motoring public, we're ever more grateful even for the US's anti-driver traffic laws (in urban areas, at least) — the doubling of fines at will, the Boss Hoggian manipulation of "speed zones," the selective enforcement — and even more grateful for the Constitution (even in the shape it's in). But government control of traffic speeds via satellite? Surely that must be over the top? A conspiracy theory for sure, right?

Well, no. It's called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) — a system under development at Leeds University — and it combines a vehicle-mounted black box with a navigation system that includes roads' speed limits. The system determines a car's position via satellite and matches its speed with the local speed limit, and (hold on to your driving gloves) adjusts the throttle or even applies the brakes if a car exceeds the limit. According to PistonHeads, it's being funded to the tune of millions of pounds by the Department for Transport. Turning drivers into dependence-addicted meatware? Yeah, that'll end well.

SPEED LIMIT REVIEW HIDES SINISTER PURPOSE [PistonHeads]

Related:
Dystopia or Utopia? You Make the Call; More Big Brother [internal]