Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA): a little help or Big Brother?

Intelligent Speed Assist (sic) (ISA) is a road safety technology that advises drivers of the speed limits on the roads they are travelling, provides sensory feedback, and can report repeat offenders to the authorities.
ISA systems typically use GPS satellites or direct connection to the vehicle to determine the vehicle’s position in relation to a digital map of speed zones in which the vehicle is travelling.
ISA systems provide warnings to the driver or can automatically intervene to prevent vehicles from speeding.
ISA system can have three levels of implementation:
  1. The ISA system can inform drivers of the current speed limits and alert them of speeding events with audiovisual feedback. Such ISA systems are advisory in nature.
  2. The ISA system can also provide ‘haptic’ feedback to drivers. In case of speeding, the pedal will become harder to push. Such ISA systems are described as providing assistance to drivers.
  3. The ISA systems can automatically limit the vehicle’s speed by directly intervening in the control of the engine. Such ISA systems are known as limiting systems.
ISA has the potential to deliver significant road safety benefits due to reduced vehicle speeds, reduced speed variation between vehicles and reduced crash severity that can result in fewer road fatalities.
ISA also has the potential to monitor repeat speeding offenders and can deliver environmental benefits through fuel savings and lower vehicle emission.
Several ISA advisory and assistance devices are now available. Various ISA trials are currently underway on the advisory and assistance devices in Western Australia, Victoria and
New South Wales. The results of these trials are expected by end 2009.
The Australian Intelligent Speed Assist Initiative (AISIA) involves the state government transport and road safety agencies with an interest in the development and implementation of the ISA technology in Australia.
For further information, please contact Vanessa Cuenca, AISAI secretary by emailing to

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