Good news comes for those impatient or inattentive motorists out there. They will no longer have to keep an eye on speed limit signs on the road.
Siemens has announced that it developed an onboard car camera system that will automatically scan for speed limitation road signs and will automatically adjust the speed of the car to match the one on the signs.
The camera will be mounted inside the rear view mirror and will continuously scan the scene in front of the car. The camera will send the images to a computer which will compare them to different patterns of speed limit signs stored in the system’s memory.
When a match is found, the computer will then cooperate with the car’s cruise control system and reduce the speed accordingly. If the car is not equipped with a cruise control system, the driver will be notified by showing a value in the speedometer or in a head-up display.
The system also uses data supplied by a navigation system to determine if the vehicle is being driven on a highway or in a town or city. And because the navigation system also contains information on special traffic signs — including those that impose speed limits only at certain times — the recognition system can also react to such situations.
The system is not into production yet, but Siemens estimates it will go into series production in about two years. For the time being, experts from Siemens have installed the system in a luxury class car, along with a host of additional assistance devices, including a lane recognition system, a night vision system and a parking guidance system. Several automakers have already tried out the test vehicle and expressed strong interest in the recognition system.