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Slowing down car technology criticised

If the speed limiter is introduced the Nissan GT-R's performance will not be affected on the racetrack.

Motoring groups and civil libertarians have sharply criticised the so-called intelligent speed adaptation technology as unintelligent, dangerous and a political quick fix.

Trials of the speed-limiting technology are under way or about to begin in Victoria, NSW and Victoria, with Queensland monitoring the results.

The speed-limiting systems operate off a GPS and maps of local speed limits to either warn the driver to slow down or cut power to the car's engine, making speeding impossible.

But Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Andrew McKellar said he was unaware of the industry being consulted about the trials.

"There would be a lot of questions that industry would have of the efficacy of the technology and how it would be applied,” Mr McKellar said. "Where you take control away from the driver and you don't know the circumstances that the driver is going to be affected by, there's always a risk of decreasing safety rather than increasing it.”

Any industry-wide vehicle standard to install the speed limiters would have to be mandated federally rather than on a state-by-state basis, he said.

Queensland Council of Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O'Gorman said governments had a responsibility to deal with the road toll but there were many causes of fatal crashes.

"While clearly the road toll is a worry, a good luck political quick fix is not the way to approach it,” Mr O'Gorman said.

A motoring website claimed the Japanese release of the new model Nissan GT-R would be limited to 180km/h but with an in-built

device to detect when it had entered a racing track and switch off the speed limiter.

A Nissan Australia spokesman said there were no plans for the technology to be fitted in cars released here.

National Motorists Association of Australia spokesman Michael Lane labelled the technology "unintelligent speed adaptation."

He argued that taking away drivers' ability to increase their speed for merging and overtaking would make driving more dangerous.