Ford has announced that its new S-Max will come with its first Intelligent Speed Limiter system that aims to stop drivers being stung with ticket charges.

This smart limiter is far cleverer than cruise control. The driver sets a limit and then as the car recognises speed signs on the road it changes the limit to suit. This works in conjunction with sat nav data for those cars that have that built-in also.

So how does it limit speed? It won't ever use the brake but rather limits the amount of fuel being fed to the engine, a bit like taking the foot off the accelerator. Should the car speed up over the limit on a downhill it will emit an alarm so the driver knows to apply the brakes.

The Intelligent Speed Limiter can, of course, be turned off. But it can also be overridden while driving by pressing the accelerator down fully to get a burst of speed if, for whatever reason, you need to break the speed limit.

This sounds like a great option to have if you know you're a bit too easily tempted to slip over the speed limit, especially when driving in a new area. The local limit will be displayed in the car's dash so if you missed a sign you can rest easy knowing the car didn't.

This is the first time Ford's Adjustable Speed Limiter and Traffic Sign Recognition systems found in the Focus, Mondeo and Kuga have been combined in one car.

The Ford S-Max with Intelligent Speed Limiter is available to order now from £23,310.

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