Intelligent speed assistance: everything you need to know

Matt Saunders: “Having spoken to people who know more about ISA than the average Joe, I’m sure car enthusiasts’ fears are unfounded. The technology will need a good mobile data connection and clear, regular speed limit signage in order to work reliably in an ‘always on’ state. While it might affect my daily commute, I can’t see how it’ll make much impact on those remote, sparsely signed roads where the best drives are to be found. So my tip for enjoying your motoring life after ISA is simply to seek out the road less travelled.”

Colin Goodwin: “For me, high-speed motoring died years ago, even on the Continent. Large fines, the prospect of a confiscated car and, worse of all, prison have all slowed me down. So I will find it easy to live with ISA. I shall build an Austin Seven special in which I will scare myself silly without getting near the national speed limit. I will fly my aeroplane at 200mph, 50ft above the sea. And I will ride motorcycles, the most beautiful of all the powered hobbies. I’ve got it all worked out.”

Steve Cropley: “Looking at the brave new speed-limited world that’s coming, I reckon I might be one of the lucky ones. People like me derive at least as much enjoyment from the quality of a car’s progress as from the rate of it. I nearly always obey speed limits and drive quite slowly, although occasionally I put on a bit of a sprint when the mood takes me, when I judge it’s safe and no one’s looking. I’ll probably keep right on doing things just the same way.”

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Can you drive with an ISA system and still have fun?

We asked Shaun Cronin, an instructor and regional manager with IAM Road Smart, and a former police driver with 20 years’ experience, to try a Ford Focus fitted with ISA. Could he still have fun behind the wheel? 

“So here I am, behind a car on a country road with a 60mph speed limit. I’m holding back and pulling out for a better view, instead of sitting too close and boxing myself in. The road’s clear and I’m away. 

“For me, exhilaration comes from cornering so we crack on through a series of tight S-bends, slower than the speed limit but fast enough. [It was very fast – JE.] 

“Now we’re following a road with gentle corners, dips and crests, doing 50mph in a 60mph zone. It’s fast enough and still fun. If people want the thrill of speed, get out a road map and find some good corners. 

“All the time, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for turnings, side roads and clues as to what’s around the corner. Where it’s safe, I open up the road, using every inch of space to put me in the right position. 


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