Project: Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA)

Reference: S181A/VD

Last update: 16/02/2010 10:57:31


The objectives of this research are to:

* review communication and control systems used for speed limitation, especially as regards its suitability and acceptability for inclusion in production cars;
* define an interface between the speed limiting function and the speed limit information system;
* specify an ISA system suitable for retro-fitment to cars operated by members of the public, and equipping 20 cars with such a system;
* study changes in driver behaviour in day-to-day on-road driving over extended periods of exposure to ISA;
* study driver behaviour in 'at risk' situations when driving a vehicle equipped with ISA;
* determine the special performance considerations that might be necessary in order for ISA to be fitted to vehicles other than passenger cars, in particular two-wheeled vehicles and large goods/passenger vehicles; and
* equip a two-wheeled motor vehicle and a large vehicle with a suitable ISA system as demonstrators of the concept.


The Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) project follows on from the work of the External Vehicle Speed Control (EVSC) project which was completed in July 2000. ISA is a system by which the vehicle 'knows' the permitted or recommended maximum speed for a road and makes this information available to the driver or limits the vehicle maximum speed to the local limit. This will aid the motorist by supplying relevant information on local speed limits as they are encountered without having to resort to other speed management methods. It can also advise on variable speed limits (e.g. around schools during term-time).

The three main forms that ISA can take are:

* advisory (the driver is informed of the limit and of violations);
* voluntary (the system is linked to the vehicle controls but the driver can choose when to have the system enabled); and,
* a fully automatic system.

The main tasks of the project are to investigate further the benefits/disbenefits of ISA through the use of field trials and a driving simulator. User attitudes before, during and after the trials will also be investigated to provide insight into when the drivers enable ISA, what changes in speed behaviour occur (if any) as a result of using ISA and whether there are any changes in other aspects of driver behaviour as a result of using ISA.

It is hoped this research will provide further information on driver behaviour when using ISA over a prolonged period.

The research will also explore and prepare a system architecture for the production configuration of ISA units, monitor technological developments and fund the attendance of researchers at international standards meetings.


Watling Street, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 0TU
+44 (0)2476 355000

University of Leeds
School of Geography, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT
0113 233 3300

Institute for Transport Studies
University of Leeds, 38 University Road, Leeds, LS2 9JT
Tel: +44 (0)113 233 5325 / 5326

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £2,015,330.00

Actual start date: 20 July 2000

Actual completion date: 08 September 2008


Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA)
Author: Oliver Carsten
Publication date: 08/09/2008
More information: