Breaking the speed limit can be costly in terms of fines, and driving bans, as well as playing a significant role in many road accidents. Ford Motor Company is now launching a new technology that could help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits – both when driving in their own country and abroad.

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Drivers have for some time been able to set a maximum speed for their vehicle. Now the all-new S-MAX sports activity vehicle – equipped with Intelligent Speed Limiter – can help ensure the maximum speed is automatically adjusted to remain within changing speed limits.

“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.”

Drivers activate Intelligent Speed Limiter via steering wheel controls to set a maximum vehicle speed. The system uses a windscreen-mounted camera to monitor road signs and when the speed limit is lower than that maximum set speed, ISL slows the vehicle as required. As the speed limit rises, the system allows the driver to accelerate up to the set speed, providing it does not exceed the new speed limit.

Ford has in recent years introduced many technologies to its vehicles that help drivers to park, remain in their driving lane, and avoid low-speed accidents.

Intelligent Speed Limiter for the first time combines current Ford technologies Adjustable Speed Limiter, and Traffic Sign Recognition, which are both already available on models including Focus, all-new Mondeo, and Kuga SUV.

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Effective at speeds of 20-120mph, Intelligent Speed Limiter ensures smooth deceleration by restricting the fuel supplied to the engine, rather than applying the brakes. Should travelling downhill cause the vehicle to exceed the specified speed an alarm is sounded.

Intelligent Speed Limiter also communicates with the onboard navigation system to help accurately maintain the appropriate maximum speed when distances between speed limit signs are greater, for example on long country roads. Drivers can temporarily override the system by firmly depressing the accelerator pedal.

Ford’s all-new S-MAX offers further advanced technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that can detect people in the road ahead – or that could cross the vehicle’s path – and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings.

“We’re not just developing cars at Ford, we’re also developing technologies to make driving more convenient, safer, and ultimately help improve mobility around the world,” said Pim van der Jagt, executive technical leader, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering. “Innovative systems like Intelligent Speed Limiter, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, and Active Park Assist are making the benefits of semi-autonomous technology accessible to everyone.”

Available to order now priced from £24,545, S-MAX also delivers Glare-Free Highbeam headlights that help avoid dazzling vehicles ahead while retaining maximum illumination for other areas. Front Split View Camera makes negotiating junctions easier with a camera located in the grille.

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