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Firm Takes the Fast Lane to Success with Road Safety Tool

08 October 2009

A COUNTY Durham firm is looking to help make the nation’s roads safer after developing technology that prevents cars from breaking the speed limit.

Newton Aycliffe-based Enablecom is launching The Speed Conscience, which it has designed for use in mobile phones to warn drivers when they are speeding, and the company is also putting the finishing touches to a black box that keeps vehicles to the right speed limit wherever they are on the UK’s road network.

The technology is the brainchild of Enablecom partner Gary Martin, who had the idea while driving in his car with his wife.

He now expects the idea to command a £4.5m turnover within five years from subscriptions, and to double his six-strong workforce.

The firm, which has more than 20 years’ experience in business application software, estimates 150,000 downloads of the software over the next five years – approximately 0.5% of all drivers.

The technology – known as Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) – uses satellite global positioning and digital road mapping to detect local speed limits and has been trialled by Transport for London on all roads inside the M25.

The black box, which is expected to hit the market by next year as the Intelligent Speed Limiter, will include an override for drivers that want to speed up to avoid an accident, which kicks in when the accelerator is pressed down sharply.

With an estimated five million drivers having penalty points on their licence, Mr Martin believes that both The Speed Conscience and the Intelligent Speed Limiter could prove popular with drivers who want to enjoy safe motoring and stay on the right side of the law.

He said: “It’s estimated that if 10% of vehicles were fitted with intelligent speed limiters, then it would have a widespread effect on traffic speed because other drivers would have to slow down behind them.

“The intelligent speed limiter will be a bit of a Marmite thing, drivers are either going to love them or hate them.

“Petrol-heads think they will make people drive like zombies but there’s a lot of people who want something that will warn or prevent them from speeding, especially on unfamiliar roads.”

He is also now hoping to crack the haulage market in order to help companies reduce their carbon emissions as well as ensure that their workers are driving safely.

“Trials with intelligent speed limiters have consistently delivered an 8% improvement in fuel performance. If you operate a fleet of vehicles, the savings over the year are going to be huge,” Mr Martin said:

“But there’s also the social benefits. Motorists have a duty of care to drive safely within the speed limit to reduce accidents and of course, it will help to reduce the CO2 footprint.”

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