New Cars Adjust Their Speed According to Road Signs!
If there is one thing that irritates drivers all over the world, it’s getting a speeding ticket – especially when they don’t realise they went over the speed limit.
But Ford has now produced a car that could put an end to this accidental speeding violations, helping drivers to avoid fines in the process, and also potentially reducing the number of accidents on the road.
The car manufacturer’s second generation S-Max series features the Intelligent Speed Limiter technology, which can adjust the car’s speeding accord to speed limit signs on the road, ensuring the vehicle doesn’t go too fast.
According to Ford, the limiter is effective at speeds between 20mph and 120mph (32kph and 193kph). It can be activated through the steering wheel, and instead of applying the brakes, it works by restricting the amount of fuel supplied to the engine.
And if you’re thinking, “But what about when going down a hill? Surely the brakes should be incorporated then?” there is some semblance of a solution. If travelling downhill causes the vehicle to exceed the speed limit, then an alarm will sound to alert the driver.
The company added that when the distance between speed limit signs is longer, such as on long country roads, the Limiter communicates with the on-board navigation system to help maintain the appropriate maximum speeds.
“We’re not just developing cars at Ford,” said Pim van der Jagt, Ford Research Managing Director. “We are also developing technologies to make driving more convenient, safer, and ultimately helping improve mobility around the world.”
The system works by combining two existing technologies already fitted into a lot of cars. The first is adjustable speed limiters, which use sensors on the car’s wheel to detect how fast the vehicle is travelling. Once the maximum preset limit is exceeded, the amount of fuel being supplied to the engine is limited.
The second technology that has been incorporated is traffic sign recognition. This involves a forward-facing video camera mounted on the windscreen. The camera scans the environment for road signs, and when it spots one, the driver is alerted. At the moment, Ford cars that are fitted with this technology respond by showing corresponding icons on the car’s dashboard display.
To top it all off, if the Intelligent Speed Limiter is activated, but the driver wishes to override it, all that person has to do is press firmly down on the acceleration pedal.
Of course, there are going to be some drivers who don’t want to surrender control of their vehicle. There will be others who will appreciate the convenience and safety on offer – not to mention the money saved on fines!
And they won’t be completely handing over the reins; drivers will be able to set the system to allow them to speed up to 5mph/8kph beyond the detected speed restrictions. This will enable them to overtake other drivers, or avoid potential collisions.
The tech is available to order now and will go on general sale in Europe later this year, in August. The Intelligent Speed Limiter will then most likely be extended to other models around the world.
Ford Safety Supervisor Stefan Kappes agreed that people are not always aware of their speed violations until they get a fine in the post or are pulled over. “Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving,” he added, “helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.”