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Ford's Latest Technology Involves Using Cameras to Keep You From Driving Too Fast, but Is That Really All They Will Do?

"Intelligent Speed Limiter."

A display of Intelligent Speed Limiter technology is seen on the dashboard of a Ford S-Max model (Image source: Ford)

Ford is rolling out a new feature that could help you avoid speeding tickets, but at what other cost?

The automaker's newly-introduced technology, called Intelligent Speed Limiter, works by letting drivers set their "maximum speed" on the road by using steering wheel controls. Once a maximum speed is set, the vehicle can then restrict the fuel flow to the engine if it reaches a speed that's above the posted speed limit, the Daily Mail reported.

Intelligence Speed Limiter display is seen on a Ford S-Max model (Image source: Ford)

By using a windshield-mounted camera to monitor road signs drivers might not see, the technology can not only keep cars from driving too fast, but it can also detect objects and pedestrians in their path. If it does detect something, it could then slam on the brakes if the driver doesn't apply them first.

If the car is speeding down a hill where fuel restriction might not make much of a difference while slowing it down, an alarm would sound to let the driver know they need to apply the brakes. The driver could choose to ignore the alert, however, by simply putting more pressure on the gas pedal. In places such as rural areas where there are greater distances between speed limit signs, the technology could tap into the car's own GPS data to determine the correct speed limit, according to the Daily Mail.

If all this sounds like something you want to try, there are a few other things you might want to consider first. Sure, the high-tech software could save you a few hundred bucks, but could you be giving up something else to potentially save money? Would you be sacrificing your own safety and personal privacy?

Here are some possible ways this technology could reach beyond the dashboard, maybe without your knowledge.

Consider this scenario: the windshield-mounted camera detects an object in the roadway that doesn't necessitate a full-stop, like a cardboard box or a small dead animal. Would the system then force the car to a stop in the middle of the roadway while slowing down or going around the object might be more appropriate?

Perhaps just as possible is the opportunity for automakers to gather marketing data based on where you drive. Automakers could then provide the information it receives to third parties. Such data could be seen as valuable to insurance companies curious about your driving habits.

Tell us what you think about Ford's latest technology by participating in the poll below.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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