Ford is hoping to protect your licence and keep you and other road users safe with a clever technology that limits your speed.
The Intelligent Speed Limiter technology is able to read road signs and prevent the car from breaking the maximum speed of the road whether at home or abroad, saving you from accumulating speeding tickets.
Ford is using the new S-Max to debut the technology, which can be switched on with a button on the steering wheel. Simply choose a maximum speed and the car will then use a camera on the windscreen to keep tabs on road signs, automatically reducing the speed limit as necessary.
When a road sign indicates the speed limit is greater than the current speed of the car, the driver is able to accelerate up to the maximum, which can be between 20 and 120mph. Slowing down, meanwhile, is done by reducing the supply of fuel to the engine, as opposed to braking, for the sake of comfort.
An alarm is sounded if the car exceeds its maximum when travelling down a hill. Moments when you need to exceed the prescribed maximum speed limit can overridden by a prolonged hard push on the accelerator pedal.
The system is comprised three separate existing Ford technologies: Intelligent Speed Limiter, Adjustable Speed Limiter, and Traffic Sign Recognition, the combination of which is a big step towards autonomous aka self-driving cars.
The new Ford S-Max also has Pre-Collision assist, which can detect a pedestrian about to be or in the road ahead, pre-applying the brakes as necessary.
“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,” Ford Research & Advanced Engineering lead Pim van der Jagt said.
Some people will see this as a great way to prevent speeding tickets and improve road safety. Others, however, will find the whiff of molly-coddling hard to ignore. As the top YouTube commentator on the video below put it: “Introducing the new Ford Nanny.”
The new Ford S-Max is available to order now, priced from £24,545. No doubt other Fords will see the safety feature at a later date.