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Ford’s new in-car system will slow down speeding drivers


Ford Speed Limiter

Ford has announced an Intelligent Speed Limiter, which will automatically slow down vehicles driving faster than the posted speed limit.

The auto giant will use the windshield-mounted camera, already installed in some models, to read roadside traffic signs and will restrict the maximum speed of the car accordingly. As the speed limit increases, the system will allow users to accelerate again, as long as they don’t break the new limit.

Drivers will also be able to preset their own maximum speed to ensure they don’t inadvertently break the rules of the road. This will work by limiting the amount of fuel that reaches the engine, rather than by autonomously applying the breaks.

Ford says the system can be overridden when drivers firmly press the pedal to the floor, allowing them to avoid a collision or overtake other road users.

The tech will become available to European owners of the second generation S-Max people carrier from August, while the firm is also looking to extend the scheme to other models and territories around the world.

Ford says the technology is aimed as assisting drivers who unintentionally break the speed limit, helping them to avoid speeding tickets, bans and accidents.

“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 Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe (via BBC).

Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.”

Related: Apple CarPlay: 8 Things you can do with Apple's in-car platform

Ford continues to be one of the more innovative automotive companies when it comes to integrating new tech within its vehicles.

The Ford SYNC platform does a better job than most when integrating the user’s smartphone, while the company's Pedestrian Detection System is is also adept at helping drivers avoid accidents.



March 25, 2015, 11:43 pm

Wow what a turd of a invention. I thought cruise control was invented 30 years ago.. I can't wait to not buy this.


March 26, 2015, 12:08 am

Ford may control some but not yours truly

Johnny Walker

March 26, 2015, 1:32 am

Our liberty is being eroded bit by bit by the collusion between big business and big government. This invention takes away autonomy, freedom and liberty from the end user to be placed in the hands of faceless bureaucrats and boardroom suits. I resent this mass population subjugation and I can't see myself buying very many new cars in the future. (I certainly will not let a robot drive for me, it is my God given right to speed and crash if I want to)


March 26, 2015, 1:33 am

This should be in the new Bond film.

So he can destroy it and go mach 2.


March 26, 2015, 2:26 am

While I can see parents purchasing this technology for their kids, I doubt anyone will purchase it for themselves!


March 26, 2015, 2:26 am

Ya I don't think it will go well here in North America.. I'm in Canada LOL but ya stranger things have happened


March 26, 2015, 2:34 am

I'm not in the habit of buying new cars and paying $30,000 for a $15,000 vehicle that drops to $10,000 in value the minute I drive it off the lot. However, were I to be so inclined, I think a small piece of circular white paper with a '95' scrawled on it in sharpie secured by a piece of clear tape to the camera hole would solve the issue. (Whoot, a $5 million dollar camera safety feature counteracted by a 2 cent piece of paper - way to go Ford)

Keith Milner

March 26, 2015, 2:35 am

"autonomously applying the breaks" Really? Maybe "brakes"?


March 26, 2015, 2:38 am

I will pass.

L Colin Bush

March 26, 2015, 2:42 am

This could come in handy to avoid speed traps on long drives. It better be an optional feature, obviously, because otherwise it would be putting way too much trust in the community's ability to protect the integrity of street signs. People could cause serious damage by spray painting a speed limit sign with the wrong number.


March 26, 2015, 2:54 am

Is there really a need for this feature? I have literally never heard anyone say "I would like to drive the speed limit, but I can't."


March 26, 2015, 2:56 am

Even just a piece of scotch tape to blur the camera. I like Fords, but this technology scares me as unsafe. On most CA highways, speed limits are more like advisories... If the speed limit is 70, and traffic is flowing smoothly at 85, driving 70 in the fast lane should be a ticketable offense. So many times you see traffic flowing along then one person who wont merge right causes so many people to slam on breaks creating an unsafe condition, that is only unsafe because of the one person "following the law".


March 26, 2015, 2:57 am

Invest in 3M. New use for Scotch Tape coming to a car dealership near you!


March 26, 2015, 3:24 am

Oh same here, people will run over you in a New York second if you do the speed limit.

I suggested the piece of paper with a 'readable' number on it because I first thought of a simple piece of black tape. I suspect though, if the camera has no readable image, it would report an error which would trigger the same automatic speed limits (55). So a blurry image might fall into that category as well...


March 26, 2015, 7:07 am

Why bother wasting money on scotch tape when, as the article says, the system can be overridden just by pressing the pedal. The system is not designed to stop joy-riding teenagers from breaking the limit.


March 26, 2015, 8:38 am

Ford can stick this up their pathetic arse. The morons in government in Australia will lap this up big time. Hopefully it causes numerous accidents and Ford is left with massive law suits.


March 26, 2015, 10:03 am

It's bad enough being beeped at, at increasingly loud levels for not engaging ones seatbelt. All a speed regulator does is take us even closer to the nanny state.

Hamish Campbell

March 26, 2015, 11:43 am

Jesus people, calm down!

It's an optional setting for those who would like to use it, i.e. to avoid tickets. Even if you have it set on, you can override at any time by pushing the speeder down.

I'm amazed people are so paranoid about their 'right' to break the speed limit being taken away.

On a side note, my citroen from 2007 has an optional limiter, but of course it isn't able to adjust by reading road signs. I use cruise control on motorways, but not the limiter, although I have tried it out and it works similarly by restricting the engine, not braking.


March 26, 2015, 2:20 pm

"..that is only unsafe because of the one person "following the law". Or only unsafe because everyone else is disobeying the law.
Just because everyone else is, it isn't an excuse. If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you?
But I'm sure you know better, just like everyone else, and the rules don't apply to you.


March 26, 2015, 2:21 pm

It's everyone elses God given right to have your speed curbed so you don't crash into us. I'd settle for you never being allowed to drive again.


March 26, 2015, 5:18 pm

There's a difference between knowing better and being safe. If traffic is moving at 70 in 70, I usually go 70. If I'm obstructing traffic by going 70 in a 70 while flow is closer to 80, I've seen too many close calls in that situation to not speed up and move with the flow of traffic. Driver's Ed and Traffic School both teach that you don't break the speed limit, but at the same time, if traffic is slower than the speed limit, you proceed at safest speed. If the safest speed is greater than the speed limit, isn't it logical to proceed as safely as possible?


March 26, 2015, 5:19 pm

I think if they set an auto speed limit of 55 when otherwise unable to read signage would be an even bigger safety and liability issue to Ford.


March 26, 2015, 5:23 pm

The system can be overridden by pressing the pedal to the floor. Otherwise the system is limiting (governing) the flow of fuel to the cylinders. The system is specifically designed to stop joy-riding teenagers from cruising at higher rate of speeds. It is designed to allow you to power-out of situations and then return to cruising speed. Ford simply assumes that the posted speed is the cruising speed in any given area, and while that is true legally, in practice that can get you killed.


March 26, 2015, 5:33 pm

from the BBC:
"The speed-limiting tech can be activated via the steering wheel and briefly overridden by pressing firmly on the accelerator."
So no, it is spcifically not designed to stop joy-riding teenagers, they are not going to engage the system in the first place. It is designed, as the article says, for people who wish to observe the speed limit but lack the ability to manage the task themselves reliably. The footpedal thing is just an emergency override like you say, but it is not the only way out of the system. Save your scotch tape.


March 26, 2015, 8:01 pm

"... for not engaging ones seatbelt."

There's a real simple solution to that "problem!" :-)

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