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Autonomous, or self-driving, cars are on the horizon. If you're uneasy about that, you'll be up in arms over the European Union's planned speed-limiting technology mandate.
The purpose: to prevent your car from ever exceeding the speed limit, whatever that might be. To accomplish this goal, the EU would require either cameras that read speed limit signs, or a GPS-based system that detects speed limit zones. The car would then limit its top speed to the speed limit--no matter the driver's input.
Not everyone in the EU loves this idea.
In fact, the U.K.'s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, is infuriated by the idea, according to Sky News. McLoughlin says he'll fight the measure. The Sky News report quotes a "government source" as saying, "To be forced to have automatic controls in your car amounts to Big Brother nannying by EU bureaucrats."
The same argument could, of course, be applied to the self-driving cars that nearly every carmaker on the planet is developing in one form or another.
Fortunately, there's no formal proposal moving forward at this time, despite the research being done into the area. It may soon be a matter of "when," but for now, there's also an "if. "
There are massive questions of conscience and civic safety behind the issue of government control over individual transportation, and the answers thus far aren't clear. Is there a place for the unrestricted human-driven car--with all of its potential for danger--in the future of motoring?
We certainly hope so.