Ford Europe is trialling a GPS-based ‘geofence’ system that will automatically reduce a car’s speed to the limit as a way of improving safety and preventing speeding.
In a bid to continuously expand the usage of technology to help with road safety for drivers and pedestrians, Ford Europe is testing a geofence system to help manage a car’s speed which will depend on its location and time of day.
Geofencing technology uses GPS data to define a virtual geographic region. When a car enters a region with a lower speed limit, for example, a school zone, which is time-dependent, the car alerts the driver and incrementally reduces speed so that it aligns with the limit set within the fence.
A geofence parameter can define the speed limit on a road like a dual carriageway, a region like a city’s centre or a facility like a logistics hub.
“Connected vehicle technology has the proven potential to help make everyday driving easier and safer to benefit everyone, not just the person behind the wheel,” said Michael Huynh, manager, City Engagement Germany, Ford of Europe. “Geofencing can ensure speeds are reduced where – and even when – necessary to help improve safety and create a more pleasant environment.”
The system is currently being trialled in Cologne, Germany and will run for 12 months. The trial may also contribute to the usage of future driver assistance technology which in the future be used with Ford commercial and passenger vehicles.
While the driver can override the geofence speed parameters, the thought behind this is that having the vehicle automatically reduce its speed when entering an area will reduce the risk of drivers missing speed signs (or timed zones) on routes that may be unfamiliar.
This will then improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Ford is utilising a pair of full-electric E-Transit vans in their trial, with 30km/h and 50km/h zones in and around the city included within the geofence database.
Ford’s connected technology is aiming to make streets simpler, safer, and easier on the eye in conjunction with preventing drivers from getting hefty speeding fines and reducing the need for speed signs.