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Technology That Automatically Slows Your Car Down Could Make Speed Limit Signs Redundant

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Technology That Automatically Slows Your Car Down Could Make Speed Limit Signs Redundant

New technology that automatically slows your car down could make speed limit signs redundant, with Ford arguing it could make streets ‘simpler, safer and easier on the eye’, while also helping drivers avoid costly speeding fines.  

Rather than relying on drivers spotting signs – especially ones that may be located on unfamiliar routes or in an overgrown area – ‘geofencing’ technology creates a virtual area where vehicles slow down, according to Ford. 

The driver receives the information via the dashboard display, with the new speed limit flashing below the current speed. 

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The vehicle then automatically reduces speed in line with the geofenced zone, with the driver able to override the system to deactivate the speed limit control at any time. 

In a press release, the car manufacturer described how many cities and towns limited speeds around schools, hospitals and shopping areas, but that seeing the signs can ‘depend on how visible they are, whether they are concealed by branches, or maybe surrounded by a cluster of other signs’. 

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The company is now trialling connected vehicle technology using what’s known as ‘geofencing’, which is a virtual geographical boundary, saying it ‘could one day do away with the need for speed limit signs completely’. 

“As well as potentially making streets safer for other road users and pedestrians, Ford’s Geofencing Speed Limit Control system could help drivers avoid inadvertently incurring speeding fines and improve roadside appearances,” Ford said in the press release. 

The trial is the result of a collaboration between the Ford City Engagement team, city officials in Cologne and Aachen, and Ford software engineers in Palo Alto, California. 

Credit: Ford
Credit: Ford
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In the future, however, Ford’s Geofencing Speed Limit Control system could enable drivers to ‘set their own geofencing zones at speeds as low as 20km/h, including at depots and private facilities’. 

Speed limits could also be set ‘dynamically’, to take into account factors such as ‘local hazards, temporary road works and the time of day’. 

Michael Huynh, manager of City Engagement Germany at Ford of Europe, said: “Connected vehicle technology has the proven potential to help make everyday driving easier and safer to benefit everyone, not just the person behind the wheel. 

“Geofencing can ensure speeds are reduced where – and even when – necessary to help improve safety and create a more pleasant environment.” 

Featured Image Credit: Ford/Alamy

Topics: Technology, News, Cars

Jess Hardiman
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