Ford’s newly announced Intelligent Speed Limiter (ISL) goes beyond systems that exist on most new cars in which a driver can set a speed that the car maintains as much as possible, as James Taylor writes for Car. The ISL is different in that it continually resets the speed every time the road’s speed limit changes, Taylor writes. He adds: “In theory, the company says, you’ll never face a speeding ticket again.”
ISL will make its appearance on the 2016 S-Max, which enters the market this summer, Taylor writes. Once a driver specifies his or her preferred speed limit, via controls on the steering wheel, the system slows the car down (if needed) by electronically limiting the fuel flow, writes Ben Coxworth for Gizmag. This is safer, he notes, than if the system were to just apply the brakes.
But driving downhill would prevent the system from working, because the brakes are not involved, Coxworth writes. However, ISL gives the driver an audible warning if he or she is speeding downhill. In cases in which the driver needs to speed up — to pass another vehicle, for example — the system can be overridden by pressing firmly on the accelerator, Coxworth writes.
ISL’s windshield-mounted camera stays on the lookout for road signs, using Ford’s Traffic Recognition System, Coxworth writes. The system is able to adjust the car’s speed to mesh with the posted signs. Should the driver be traveling on rural roads without posted speed signs, the system can find speed limit data via maps in the vehicle’s navigation system, Coxworth writes. The ISL system allows a car to go up to five miles over the speed limit, but no more than that, writes Bill Howard for Extreme Tech.
Taylor writes that the next step will be to link ISL to cruise control “so that cars can maintain their own speed without any need for the driver to do anything as arduous as pressing a pedal.” Tesla is said to be developing such a system, Taylor writes
The 2016 S-Max, a midsize crossover/minivan, will have other safety features usually only found on luxury cars, such as Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection (which applies the brakes if a collision with a pedestrian is imminent) and a front split-view camera to help cars park in tight spaces, Taylor writes.
Ford’s front split-view camera system gives the driver a 180-degree view from the camera installed in the car’s grille, Ford writes in a press release. “To ensure the lens remains clear, a high-pressure jet washer extends to clean the camera when the headlight washer is activated,” Ford writes. The new S-Max will also have Glare-Free Highbeam and Ford Adaptive Steering, Taylor reports.
Ford goes on to describe some of the other safety features in the 2016 S-Max:
S-MAX has been designed to help protect an occupant in the event of a crash. The body structure uses hydro-formed high strength steel for A‑pillars, B-pillars, and roof rails, enhancing side impact performance while reducing weight.
For the first time, S-MAX offers second-row seat side-airbags, in addition to driver and front-passenger, driver-knee, and first-, second- and third-row curtain airbags. Second-row seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters enhance rear passenger safety. Seatbelt minders feature for all three rows.
MyKey technology will enable owners to programme a key – usually for younger drivers – that can inhibit incoming phone calls; restrict top speed; prevent deactivation of driver assistance and safety features; reduce audio system maximum volume, and disable the audio system altogether if occupants are not using safety belts.