Ford will be selling a car that can read road signs and adjust its speed to ensure the vehicle is not driving too fast. The system can be activated via the steering wheel and briefly overridden by pressing on the accelerator. They stated that the technology will help drivers in regards to avoiding fines and accidents.
“There’s a plan for speed restrictions to be beamed to your car’s computer systems and controlled from there, rather than requiring street sign visual recognition systems,” said Paul Newton, an automotive industry analyst at the IHS consultancy.
The system, which is called the Intelligent Speed Limiter, brings two existing technologies already fitted to many cars together:
- Adjustable speed limiters – these use sensors mounted in a car’s wheels to detect how fast it is going. Once software detects the vehicle is at a maximum preset speed, it limits the amount of fuel that reaches the engine, rather than applying the brakes. The system does, however, allow the driver to quickly suspend the restriction by pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor, letting them overtake another vehicle or avoid a collision
- Traffic sign recognition – a forward-facing windscreen-mounted video camera scans the environment for road signs and alerts the driver to their presence. Ford cars previously fitted with this technology are limited to showing corresponding graphics on their dashboard displays
There is also technology coming through that can monitor heart rate, decipher cyclists from other objects on the road and an eye-movement detection system to detect if the driver is falling asleep.
Although this could be a step in the right direction, such technology is not close to being common place in modern vehicles just yet.
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