The new Ford S-Max introduces a technology called Intelligent Speed Limiter, a cruise control setting that can read speed limit signs and automatically keep the car at the maximum posted speed even when that speed changes. The driver activates it by pressing a button on the steering wheel, the S-Max does the rest, and the minivan will inform the driver if it exceeds the limit for some reason, for instance, when going downhill.

Slowing down, like when crossing from a 40 mile-per-hour zone to a 30-mph zone, is handled by fuel flow, not by the brakes - the car simply cuts engine power. It works anywhere from 20 mph to 120 mph, yet as with every other cruise control it's totally driver controlled; pressing the accelerator will override the system at any time. The aim is to help drivers avoid tickets, not take over the car.

You can only get it on the UK S-Max for now. There's a video above that explains it and press release below with more information.
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Could this spell the end for speeding tickets?

March 23, 2015 -- Breaking the speed limit is not something we always do on purpose. All the same, it can be costly in terms of fines, and driving bans, as well as playing a significant role in many road accidents.

In the U.K. alone, in 2013, more than 15,000 drivers received fines of £100 or more for speeding.

We are now launching Intelligent Speed Limiter, a technology that could help prevent drivers from unintentionally exceeding speed limits.

The system monitors road signs with a camera mounted on the windscreen, and 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 limit.

"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."

Further new technologies available for the new S-MAX include the Pedestrian Detection system that will reduce the severity of some collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, or help drivers avoid some impacts altogether.

The versatile people-mover also is equipped to help out at junctions where it is difficult to see. At low speeds a camera fitted in the grille monitors the view from the front of the car, which is then displayed inside the car.

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