For many Houston drivers, posted speed limits are less of a rule and more of a suggestion. Unfortunately, this need for speed often gets folks in trouble if they’re pulled over for speeding or, worse still, get into avoidable accidents.
Speeding is also a huge issue in the U.K., with over 15,000 drivers receiving speeding fines in 2013 alone. This may help to explain why U.K. Ford is introducing the Intelligent Speed Limiter, which, as its name implies, prevents drivers from exceeding the speed limit.
The Intelligent Speed Limiter is composed of two pre-existing technologies: the Adjustable Speed Limiter allows drivers to manually set a maximum cruising speed, while the Traffic Sign Recognition scans for road signs and provides the system with relevant speed and road data.
When the Intelligent Speed Limiter system is activated, the vehicle cruises at a speed no greater than 5 mph over the posted speed limit. A dashboard-mounted camera scans for traffic signs and increases or decreases the vehicle’s speed accordingly. If no road signs are available, the system receives available data from a separate onboard satellite navigation system, such as a GPS.
On occasions when the vehicle exceeds the set speed limit, a warning alarm is triggered and the vehicle stops receiving fuel until it has slowed. According to Ford U.K., “the system smoothly controls speed using engine torque,” which, all things considered, is a better method of decelerating than slamming on the breaks.
According to Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor for Ford of Europe, the Intelligent Speed Limiter provides an invaluable service for drivers.
“Drivers are not always conscious of speeding and sometimes only becoming aware they were going too fast when they receive a fine in the mail or are pulled over by law enforcement,” said Kappes. “Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.”
U.K. Ford is introducing the Intelligent Speed Limiter for the Ford S-MAX, a multi-purpose vehicle for the European market. The S-MAX is expected to make its U.K. debut this summer, with no word yet as to when the Intelligent Speed Limiter will make an appearance stateside. In the meantime, watch the video below and consider the possibilities…