The Vriezema car locker. A progressive seventies idea

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It is hardly imaginable. You drive your car on a randomly chosen street or road. You accelerate, and you notice that your car is not accelerating. You feel that the speed is limited. And you know that the police set the speed for you. Unreal? Yes, it still is. But during the early XNUMXs, an idea was launched that partially cast its shadow ahead. The inventor: Tjip Vriezema from Enschede.

The electrical engineer from Twente demonstrated his invention more than 45 years ago: a speed limiter. Nowadays we are hardly surprised by the possibility to set the speed yourself. But in the early 50s, experts from various interest groups (KNAC, ANWB) and government bodies were surprised. Vriezema unveiled a box that allows drivers to choose between the driving speeds 70, 90, 110, XNUMX and free. With the push of a button, an electric motor under the hood was activated, which reduced the gas supply to the corresponding speed.

Set from outside

What was special was that the box could also be operated from the outside. The police could, for example, slow down all traffic via a transmitter. Of course, every Dutch car would then be equipped with the box. The State Treasury was not served by this, but road safety was of course partly served. Partly, because a box for foreign road users was not (yet) mentioned.

Motor vehicle tax card

In the pre-camera era, the box could also offer a solution for motorists who systematically refused to pay their motor vehicle tax. Motorists could then – against payment of the motor vehicle tax – register themselves as a payer and in that case received a card that had to be attached to the box to allow the car to drive. The benefits were innumerable: the Tax and Customs Administration's control apparatus could look forward to savings, and the government would be assured of collecting more motor vehicle tax.

More implemented than conceived

The government should use the earnings resulting from the discovery to make the Dutch road network suitable for the application of this technology. It never got that far. Today, however, it can be retroactively established that the automotive industry has indeed applied the spin-off of this invention. Nowadays, no one is surprised by cruise control, a speed limiter or adaptive systems that serve safety. In addition, car manufacturers are developing more and more cars that take over an increasing number of functions from the driver.

Kilometer charge modern variant

A lot has also been said about kilometer charges, and in fact this is the modern variant of the motor vehicle tax card, which can be arranged with a camera, a transmitter and a car chip. The police setting the speed of a car remotely in unsafe situations never got off the ground. Perhaps the matrix boards can be regarded as the contemporary alternative to the remote controllable speed. These are set remotely by the responsible officials. The same signs also indicate traffic warnings and advice.

Looking ahead

However, stopping traffic en masse at the touch of a button has always been a bridge too far. But it is certain that in the XNUMXs Mr. Vriezema thought about solutions for security and state finances with an ingenious and far-sighted view. His invention has been used more often than he himself could have imagined. And stopping or slowing down current traffic remotely? Those opportunities are closer than you think.

State of the art technology allows for re-investigation

In 2013, EU responsibles spoke in Brussels about installing a box in a European context that reads the maximum speed and adjusts the speed driven accordingly. And various car manufacturers actually have such a system in-house. And what about the navigation systems? They flawlessly indicate the speed limit on the driven stretch of road.

Source: The VW


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  1. Interesting piece.
    I only miss the photos of the discussed box (which must have been quite a large box at the time)
    How was the wireless aspect done at the time?

  2. Thanks to the set cruise control, I use my right foot more to brake than to accelerate. You should drive in the area of ​​Wervik (Belgium). Different speed on the roads according to region. Together with the traffic sign recognition, no more excessive speed. An application that I can no longer miss.

  3. "Drivers" who misbehave, or even worse, give a driving ban for a certain period of time, (e.g. umpteenth x with father, drunk, played a game; you are familiar with Porsche, last x resulting in death young girl!),) , give a sweet punishment?? It's time for those soft judges to retire. I want to say that certain, fortunately smaller groups of people, always mess it up for the large group (such as football suppers, so holigans). Due to decades of failure of our justice system, the rest has to bleed for it?! How long?!
    So, rather drive yourself, no robots, stay awake..... 😜

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