First-Ever Technology Slows Car for Speed Cameras
There are already GPS services and at least one app that warn drivers when they are approaching a roadside camera, but Hyundai has gone a step further. The car manufacturer is introducing a technology in some 2015 Genesis models that will automatically slow a car down when approaching a roadside speed camera so a driver does not get a ticket, as Brad Tuttle writes for Money magazine.
The technology is not expected to be offered any time soon in the U.S., Tuttle writes. Paul A. Eisenstein reports for NBC News that in the near future this speed-camera system — the first of its kind — will be available only in South Korea. There will probably be questions about the technology’s legality if it is eventually offered in the U.S., he adds.
A good argument can be made that the system is a “misuse of technology that will actually make roads more dangerous,” Tuttle writes, because it can help drivers exceed the speed limit without the fear of being detected. But he speculates that wherever it is legal it’s bound to be permitted, because of a widespread hatred for roadside cameras. The system could also contribute to road safety, Tuttle writes, because without it, speeders who cruise through stop signs can cause rear-end collisions when slamming on the brakes at the last minute.
The system relies on some basic technology. Its onboard navigation system has a database showing where speed cameras are known to operate, and that information is linked to the sedan’s auto-brake system. Drivers are given an audible alert about a half-mile before they approach the camera. If the motorist doesn’t slow to the speed limit, the automatic braking system kicks in, gradually slowing the vehicle.
This speed-camera detection and automatic slowdown system provides a “glimpse into the likely future for all drivers,” Tuttle writes. Even before the advent of fully self-driving cars, there will be systems like this to help drivers “in ways our grandparents never imagined,” he writes.
David McCowan writes for Drive.com.au that although the feature will work for fixed speed cameras and average speed cameras, it will not give drivers an advantage over mobile speed cameras or the highway patrol. The Genesis, a luxury sedan, is in a lower price bracket than cars sold by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, he notes.
The GPS subscriptions offering audible warnings of roadside cameras include TomTom and Garmin, Tuttle writes. The smartphone app he refers to that has a similar warning is called Phantom Alert.