Back in October, 2021, we asked what RideApart readers think about the possibility of intelligent speed assistance requirements for motorcycles. Overall, most of you expressed displeasure with the idea, although at least one person said they’d consider it if it wasn’t too intrusive.  

We have news for you about ISA requirements in the European Union today—although at this point, we must note that this legislation only covers passenger cars, and not motorbikes of any kind. As of July 6, 2022, all new motor vehicles in categories M or N (in other words, those having at least four wheels, powered, and meant for the carriage of passengers and/or goods) seeking European type approval must have an intelligent speed assistance system of some type fitted. 

Now, stipulations about what constitutes an intelligent speed assistance system aren’t one-size-fits-all, because vehicles in these categories aren’t a uniform bunch. According to the language of the regulation as published in the November 17, 2021 edition of the Official Journal of the European Union, which publishes all binding legislation, the plan seems to be deciding upon several qualifying feedback methodologies that OEMs can choose to implement as appropriate to each vehicle case. 

Inputs can include a variety of methods, including observations drawn from cameras, map data, machine learning, and so on. However, in all cases, the rule stipulates that the final decision on how to proceed will remain with the driver. Drivers will still be responsible for obeying road signs and traffic rules. All ISAs will be considered “best-effort driver assistance systems,” which may be a source of additional information, but which will not take either precedence or vehicular control. 

Additionally, the regulation calls for a full performance assessment of available ISA systems to take place no later than December 31, 2025. That way, regulators can monitor their performance and tweak the regulations as necessary.  

Importantly, there’s also a provision to minimize driver distraction via information communication from any given ISA. Interestingly, there’s also a line about how “manufacturers [should] provide, where appropriate and necessary for a reasonable proportion of the vehicle’s life-time, an unrestricted and easy access to system updates.” It’s not clear if this is a bid to circumvent the potential nightmare scenario of “ISA-as-a-service"-style mandatory subscriptions, but it’d be surprisingly cool if it was. 

It’s also not clear whether pressure to adopt a similar ISA requirement for motorcycles will result in similar legislation before the first assessments of these systems in cars are complete. As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on future developments as they arise. 

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