Automaker Ford is testing technology that could end the need for speed limit signs and help drivers avoid inadvertent speeding fines by automatically slowing vehicles as they enter designated areas.
The system is based on geofencing – a type of virtual geographic boundary, where special rules can be set around specific locations.
Ford uses the technology to set speed limits that internet-connected vehicles automatically adhere to when entering one of the zones in question.
Speed limit information is set on the vehicle’s dashboard display so the driver is aware of the change and can be manually overridden if necessary, the company said.
The car giant is currently testing the technology in Cologne, Germany, and says it could reduce the need for speed limit signs and improve roadside appearance by decluttering them while helping drivers avoid fines for speeding.
Ford said its trial will last a year using its all-electric E-Transit van.
Michael Huynh, Head of Urban Engagement at Ford of Europe in Germany, said: “Connected vehicle technology has the proven potential to make everyday driving easier and safer for the benefit of everyone, not just the person behind the wheel. .
“Geofencing can ensure speeds are reduced where – and even when – needed to help improve safety and create a more pleasant environment.”
Ford said that in the future the system could also be used dynamically, with speed limits set and changed based on local hazards, roadworks or to manage traffic at different times of day.