Ford is to sell a car that can read road signs and adjust its speed accordingly to ensure the vehicle is not driving too fast.
The car company suggests the facility will help drivers avoid fines and could reduce the number of accidents.
The system, which is called the Intelligent Speed Limiter, combines two existing technologies already fitted to many cars:
- 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 tech are limited to showing corresponding graphics on their dashboard displays
Drivers will be able to set the new system to let them speed at up to 5mph (8km/h) beyond the detected limit.
Ford's technology will become available to the public this August, when it launches the second generation of its S-Max cars in Europe.
What do you think of this new technology? Is it a step in the right direction or a step too far?
Here's a clip of how the technology works: