Best Safety Innovation – over £25,000: Ford Intelligent Speed Limiter
There’s no shortage of excellent technology in cars costing upwards of £25,000, but in this category we’re looking for practical innovations that have the potential to improve the driving experience for all.
Our standout safety innovation is Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter, as fitted to the Ford S-Max MPV. It combines two common technologies that, once activated, create a system that makes it impossible to break the speed limit.
At its heart, it’s simply a speed limiter, a feature drivers can activate to ensure they never pass that set speed, irrespective of how hard they press the accelerator pedal. Limiters are great for driving in average speed camera zones, because you can brake without switching off the system, which happens with adaptive cruise control.
undefined. The latter uses cameras to scan the road ahead for speed-limit signs and displays the information in the driver’s line of sight.
The two systems work in unison so that once the speed is set to the current speed limit, it changes whenever the car passes another speed sign. And as with other speed limiters, it will deactivate if you fully press the accelerator pedal, should you require a sudden burst of speed to avoid a collision, for example.
Our Highly Commended safety innovation is Subaru’s EyeSight system, which uses a pair of forward-facing stereo cameras to capture three-dimensional colour images. The EyeSight cameras determine the shape, speed and distance of cars, and can also tell motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians apart.
The system bundles a range of familiar features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking. But its standout features are the Lead Vehicle Start Alert feature and Pre-Collision Throttle Management.
Lead Vehicle Start Alert warns the driver through a buzzer and flashing indicator when the stationary car ahead has moved off. Pre-Collision Throttle Management warns the driver if they select drive instead of reverse when the car detects an object in front.
The brilliance of EyeSight is that its systems are highly effective and well packaged. It’s fitted as standard to four of the six versions of Subaru Outback, although it’s only available on models fitted with the Lineartronic automatic gearbox.