Ford has announced a new intelligent speed limiter system which reads traffic signs and reduces fuel flow to keep your vehicle within the speed limit.
As much as the petrolhead lobby decries the direct correlation the road safety brigade makes between speed and safety, current legislation means that if you're driving too fast, regardless of how safely, you’ll usually get fined.
While a traffic officer can make a judgment call, ticket-bots won’t be quite so lenient. Now the Ford tech is fighting automatic regulation with automatic adherence.
The Intelligent Speed Limiter combines current Ford technologies: the Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition, which are both already available on models including the Focus, Mondeo, and Kuga SUV.
At speeds of between 20mph and 120mph the system smoothly decelerates by restricting the fuel supplied to the engine, rather than applying the brakes. Should travelling downhill cause the vehicle to exceed the legislated speed an alarm is sounded.
The limiter also communicates with the on-board navigation system to help accurately maintain the appropriate maximum speed when distances between speed limit signs are greater, for example on long country roads.
Drivers can temporarily override the system by firmly depressing the accelerator pedal.
“We're not just developing cars at Ford, we're also developing technologies to make driving more convenient, safer, and ultimately help improve mobility around the world,” said Pim van der Jagt, executive technical leader, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering.
Maybe the first in line for this should be former Nokia boss Anssi Vanjoki who in 2002 was fined a massive €116,000 for doing 75km/h in a 50km/h zone on his Harley Davidson. In Finland traffic fines are proportionate to your income.
In 2013, 15,549 drivers in the UK were issued with fines of at least £100, according to the Department for Transport.
More details on the Ford website. ®
The video describes the system in the best British Public Information Film fashion: