There has been a lot of discussion over the past several days as many of you have been timing your car trips across the Atchafalaya Basin on Interstate 10 in Louisiana. The discussion centers around how long it should take you to cross the bridge when motoring at the posted speed. That discussion came about because of recently passed legislation from lawmakers in Baton Rouge. 

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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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If you were not aware legislation passed in the recently concluded session of the legislature provided for speed cameras to be installed on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge on I-10. The bridge has been the scene of many horrific crashes, a good number of which were caused by excessive speed.

The way the camera system would work is like this. They would record your vehicle as it makes its way onto the bridge floor. At that time a timer will start running. A camera will record your vehicle as you exit the bridge. If you're going faster than the posted 60 mph, for cars, then you will exit the bridge ahead of the "18 minutes" assigned as the proper time for that journey. If you finish faster,  you'll be sent a speeding ticket in the mail based on your license plate.

CNET via YouTube
CNET via YouTube
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Lawmakers seem to think this will slow people down on the bridge. But if automotive technology continues to grow the way it's growing in Europe the need for those cameras might be a moot point in as little as five years.

As of yesterday, the European Union has made the inclusion of technology known as Intelligent Speed Assist mandatory on all new vehicles being introduced on the European market. The system becomes mandatory for all new cars sold in the EU in 2024.

Denny Muller via Unsplash.com
Denny Muller via Unsplash.com
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The Intelligent Speed Assist uses information from the car's surroundings gathered by the vehicle's camera system, map data, and deep learning tools to surmise what the posted speed is for the roadway the vehicle is traveling. The system will first issue an audio warning. Then if the speed isn't reduced the steering wheel might begin to vibrate. And, if all else fails the system will govern the vehicle's motor so that it can't exceed the posted speed.

If you don't think this will be coming to the United States you might want to think again. US automakers want to be able to sell cars in Europe so they will be installing the technology on cars made for sale there, why wouldn't they install them on cars made for US roadways?

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, google street view
Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, google street view
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Proponents of the system say data created by model runs suggest that the ISA system could reduce car crashes by as much as 20% to 30%, depending on the country. That seems to have a lot of upside in the court of public opinion. And, as far as motorists on the Atchafalaya Basin are concerned, if you eliminate speeding then you eliminate speeding tickets and the need for speed cameras.

Big brother has taken the leap from just watching to now helping your drive. Is anybody else feeling a bit creeped out by what else might be coming in the future?

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