Ford in the US has developed a car that can not only read road signs, but can adjust the car’s speed to ensure you’re not driving too fast. The technology will offer protection against an occasional lapse of concentration, or an unexpected or unseen change in speed limit.
It combines two existing technologies. A forward-facing windscreen-mounted video camera scans the environment for road signs and alerts the driver to their presence. This is then linked with speed limiter sensors mounted in the car’s wheels to detect how fast the car is travelling. If the software detects that the vehicle needs to go slower, it smoothly controls engine torque by electronically adjusting the amount of fuel delivered, rather than applying the brakes. It can be overridden by pressing firmly on the accelerator if there is a need to quickly accelerate for safety reasons.
The main benefits appear to be:
While the technology is not yet in vehicles in Australia, it is expected to be introduced in 2017 as the second generation of the Ford S-MAX is launched.