Could this be the beginning of the end for speed cameras?


Could Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter see the end of speed cameras?

With tougher fines and an ever growing number of speed cameras, staying one step ahead of the law is becoming nigh on impossible.

No one no matter how vigilant they are can watch their speed and drive safely at the same time – but that’s what motorists are being expected to do.

But there’s a glimmer of hope around the corner.

New technology offered by Ford in Europe could mean an end to the dreaded cameras, or at least their effect on your hip pocket and driver’s licence.

Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter can automatically prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit.

It does so with a combination of traffic sign recognition technology and an adjustable speed limiter to control the speed of the car.

As part of the process the driver sets a maximum speed which can be raised or lowered in 5mph (8km/h) increments – probably 5km/h increments by the time it gets to us.  

Then between 20 and 120mph (30 and 190km/h) the technology uses the speed limit information from the traffic sign recognition system to adjust speed.

In vehicles equipped with on-board navigation, the system also uses map data to improve the accuracy.

At the same time the driver has the option to set a speed tolerance of up to 5 mph above the detected speed limit.

And here’s the thing, the system controls your speed without applying the brakes.

Instead it controls your speed with engine torque by electronically adjusting the amount of fuel delivered.

If the vehicle overruns the set maximum speed because of a downhill gradient, an alarm is sounded.

Drivers can temporarily override the system by pressing firmly on the accelerator.

“Speed limiting technology was last year specified on around two thirds of Ford vehicles for which it was available,” said Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe.

“It’s proving popular with drivers who want to ensure they avoid incurring speeding fines by unintentionally exceeding the speed limit.

“Intelligent Speed Limiter makes that even easier.”

The technology is currently available on Ford Kuga, Edge, S-Max and Galaxy and the next generation Ford Fiesta will feature Traffic Sign Recognition technology.

No word from Ford as to when we can expect it here, but it shouldn’t be too long.