New tech will limit drivers' speed in certain places.
How would you like it if your car just started slowing down of its own accord? You'd probably think something was wrong. Well, Ford is testing technology that will do just that. Now, before we all get riled about about "my freedoms," know it won't be on consumer vehicles, at least, not right now.
Instead, the testing is being done in Germany for Ford E-Transit vans and the like. At least in the US, there are already vehicles that have their speed monitored by GPS, and this seems to be a logical evolution of that idea.
Ford calls the tech Geofencing Limit Control. It relies on a few systems to function properly, at least in these early development stages. There is a bit of a prerequisite: this tech relies on driver-assist technology like automatic braking, and of course, adaptive cruise control to do its work.
It'll also need GPS, as the first part of the name implies. Geofencing tells the car when it's in a restricted area, like a school zone, and slows the vehicle to an appropriate speed. Geofencing tech has a number of applications, and now we can add this to the list. That means that rather than reading a traffic sign (like many of Ford's vehicles can do), it relies on the positioning received from the car's GPS to decide when your need for speed has been satiated.
Ford says its software engineers, along with its City Engagement Team, as well as city officials in both Cologne and Aachen, Germany, have teamed up to get the software up and running. Right now, only two electric E-Transit vans have the tech equipped, so the tech is most definitely still in its infancy. However, it also relies on a little human compliance, as drivers can override the system at any time. We imagine that's in case of some sort of emergency.
In the future, drivers might even be able to establish their own geofenced "no speeding" zones. We'd imagine that to be useful for companies looking to keep speeds in work areas down. For now, it's hard to imagine this going beyond the commercial sector. We just don't see folks signing up for this kind of stuff, especially in an age where cars are more connected than ever and some are still vying for freedom from that.