Ford is launching a new technology that could help prevent drivers from unwittingly exceeding speed limits, when driving in their own country and abroad.
With cars becoming increasingly more powerful and speed cameras ever more sophisticated, being caught speeding is highly likely for many drivers on the road.
For some years, drivers have been able to set a maximum speed for their vehicle using control. But now, thanks to an Intelligent Speed Limiter, the new S-MAX sports activity vehicle can help ensure the maximum speed is automatically adjusted to remain within changing speed limits.
Drivers can activate Intelligent Speed Limiter (ISL) using the steering wheel controls to set a maximum vehicle speed. The system uses a windscreen-mounted camera to monitor road signs and when the speed limit is lower than that maximum set speed, ISL slows the vehicle as required. As the speed limit rises, the system allows the driver to accelerate up to the set speed limit.
For the first time, Intelligent Speed Limiter combines Ford's current Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition, which are both available on models including Focus, Mondeo, and Kuga SUV.
Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor at Ford of Europe, said: "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. Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit."
Effective at speeds of 20-120mph, Intelligent Speed Limiter ensures smooth deceleration by restricting the fuel supplied to the engine, rather than applying the brakes. If travelling downhill causes the vehicle to exceed the specified speed, an alarm is sounded.
Ford's new S-MAX also offers further advanced technologies including Pre-collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that can detect people in the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings.
Pim van der Jagt, executive technical leader at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, added: "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.
"Innovative systems like Intelligent Speed Limiter, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, and Active Park Assist are making the benefits of semi-autonomous technology accessible to everyone."