Ford Giving Drivers A Brake With Intelligent Speed Limiter Tech

In these days filled with visions of cars that will soon drive themselves and cars that will be able to fly (no word yet on cars that can fly themselves, though that also seems inevitable), the news of a technology that will help drivers ensure that they do not exceed speed limits may seem somewhat anticlimactic. That said, Ford has developed just such a technology and is planning to put it into cars in 2015.

Intelligent Speed Limiter, Ford's new speed-limiting technology, brings together two Ford technologies already in use — Traffic Sign Recognition and Adjustable Speed Limiter — to create a system that is capable of reading traffic signs and detecting speed cameras in operation (via a windshield-mounted camera), and subsequently adjusting fuel flow as necessary. Thus, at speeds of between 20mph and 120mph Intelligent Speed Limiter works to smoothly decelerate the car as necessary by restricting the fuel supplied to the engine, rather than applying the brakes (an alarm is sounded in the event that traveling downhill causes the vehicle to exceed the posted speed limit). In addition, when the distance between speed limit signs is substantial the Ford system communicates with the vehicle's on-board navigation system to accurately maintain maximum speed. And, as you might expect, drivers can put pedal to the metal to temporarily override the Intelligent Speed Limiter system should circumstances require it.


In addition to its obvious potential safety benefits, Ford believes Intelligent Speed Limiter can help drivers to avoid being caught for going too fast and suffering the resulting penalties.

“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,” said Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe. “Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.”

Ford plans to include Intelligent Speed Limiter in their latest model S-Max multipurpose vehicles, along with another new safety technology called Pedestrian Detection that promises to reduce the severity of some collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians or help drivers avoid some impacts altogether.