Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter: Controversial, but Necessary


Claiming ignorance will never get you out of a speeding ticket.

Speed limit signs are there for a reason, and not seeing one isn’t an excuse for flying through a 35-mph zone at 49. Sometimes, though, speeding is a genuine mistake rather than an intentional offense.

That was the case last time I got pulled over. The speed limit had dropped from 45 to 35 and I somehow missed the sign. Thankfully, the police officer let me off with a warning, along with the kind advice to not speed anymore.


Had I been driving a Ford equipped with its new Intelligent Speed Limiter feature, the car would have seen the speed limit sign for me and slowed down accordingly. It seems like a great feature, but there’s a lot of fuss about it online. Why?

Online news stories about Ford’s new technology are flooded with comments about the loss of freedom in cars. A comment on a CNN story began,

Freedom of movement involves the ability for people to go where they want to go, when they want to go, at the rate which they want to go. All three of those criteria must be met in order to have true freedom of movement, and anything less infringes upon it.

Yes; however, there are laws in place that restrict how fast a driver can arrive at his or her destination. I do agree with the commenter’s sentiment and would also prefer to remain in full control of a vehicle while driving. I am not opposed, however, to technology that can help me avoid speeding tickets.

Ford says,

When activated by a driver, Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter utilizes cameras to read traffic speed signs and can adjust the throttle to help drivers avoid exceeding speeding limits, a cause not only of costly fines, but also driving bans and accidents.

The system adjusts speed by controlling engine torque rather than using the brakes. Drivers still have control and, if they really want to speed, can depress the accelerator pedal to override the system.

For now, Intelligent Speed Limiter is available only on vehicles in Europe, but it’s expected to go worldwide soon.

Would you want Intelligent Speed Limiter on your next vehicle?


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