Road safety is on the top of the chart for every car manufacturer across the globe and steps are being taken to reduce as many accidents as possible. One of the major reasons for accidents is high speed run that causes the driver to lose the control of the vehicle. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the overspeeding habits and hence, various speed control devices have been conceptualized.
In Europe and the U.S, manufacturers put a mandatory top speed limited in high-speed vehicles which stops them from exceeding 250 kmph limits. Many provide a manual limiter that enables the driver to set the speed manually. The new Ford's speed-limiting technology combines various methods to either keep the foot off the accelerator or make an intrusion on driver control and automotive privacy.
Called the 'Intelligent Speed Limiter', the system already made its debut with Ford S-Max in Europe last month and combines two systems to create this feature. First, there's the driver can manually adjust the maximum vehicle speed and secondly, the system reads the speed-limit signs on the roads, though a front mounted camera and keeps the car's speed in check.
What's different in this system is that it doesn't use the brake to lower the speed (which is a potential hazard and can cause accidents). Instead, it controls engine torque with electronic adjustments to adjust the fuel delivered. Drivers have an option to override the system and can firmly press the accelerator to give it acceleration in a range of 5 miles per hour if they feel a need to move faster.
Ford vehicles had abilities in the past to read speed signs via cameras and display it to drivers. It's just that Ford has allowed this system to actively take part in the vehicle safety and such systems proved "popular with drivers who want to ensure they avoid incurring speeding fines by unintentionally exceeding the speed limit," says Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor for Ford of Europe. "Intelligent Speed Limiter makes that even easier."
There's a stark contrast in the road safety initiatives in Europe and the U.S, especially related to the speed limits. While Europe has increased the speed cameras over the years, the ones in the U.S remain the same. Similarly, speed limit in the U.S is increasing while in the Europe, it is on a decline. Reports have shown that increasing speed has contributed to high death rate.
Ford feels that this system will be more popular with Europeans, although use of this system is voluntary. Also, Ford will not be bringing this system to the U.S because of the above mentioned factors and also because they feel people in the States are more reluctant to deploy such technology to infer more in driver's judgement.
As for India, we neither have proper speed signs nor proper roads to test such technology, though, we are the country where highest deaths are recorded in road accidents.