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Could This Spell The End for Speeding Tickets? New Ford Tech Can Automatically Prevent Drivers Exceeding Limits

  • Ford of Europe is launching a new technology that could help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits, and potentially from incurring costly speeding penalties
  • Intelligent Speed Limiter enables automatic adjustment of maximum vehicle speed to remain within legal limits; camera detects signs, system helps ensure limits are not exceeded
  • Ford debuts system on the all-new S-MAX; sports activity vehicle also can detect people in road ahead and automatically apply brakes if driver does not respond to warnings

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Cologne, Germany, March 23, 2015 – 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.

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.

Effective at speeds of 30-200 km/h (20-120 mph), 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 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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Editor’s notes

  • A new type of camera able to simultaneously monitor four lanes is being introduced to 300 miles of the U.K. motorway network in addition to existing single lane and average speed monitoring devices
  • In 2013, 15,549 drivers in the U.K. were issued with fines of at least £100
  • In Germany 93,000 drivers were last year issued with speeding fines in just 24 hours during a nationwide speeding clampdown by police
  • Germany and the U.K. have in the last two years increased the penalties for speeding, with U.K. drivers now facing a maximum €13,800 (£10,000) fine for exceeding the motorway limit
  • France and Spain have recently begun reducing speed limits on some narrow and urban roads
  • Some countries link speeding fines to income: a motorist in Finland was earlier this year fined €54,000 (£38,400) when caught at 103 km/h (64 mph) in a 80 km/h (50 mph) zone

* Exceeding the speed limit was a factor in 14 per cent of road fatalities in the U.K. in 2011. Source: Department for Transport,

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit


Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 66,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 23 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 11 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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