It’s every driver’s nightmare, the hidden speed camera that catches you when you least expect it. But Hyundai has come up with a solution that is capable of outsmarting these speeds traps. It not only detects them but it then automatically slows the car down if it is traveling over the speed limit.
The new Hyundai is a luxury sedan model called Genesis, and relies on GPS technology to locate the speed traps. Once the car had detected a speed camera it will then alert the driver, but if the car remains at a speed over the limit, the automatic feature kicks in. The driver will receive a warning beep at 800m from the speed camera, and then another beep will sound before braking system is activated and slows the car down to the correct speed.
The Genesis model also comes with a range of other safety features, such as the automatic emergency braking and lane-drift assistance, which works via the Cruise RP-1 controls; a blind spot detection system to check for cars the driver cannot see, and emergency braking if an upcoming hazard is detected.
Hyundai claim that this is the world’s first ‘highway autopilot’ and can safely take a car onto a motorway and keep it in lane within a correct distance from vehicles either side. Whether people are willing to risk this is another matter.
The way the car detects other vehicles on the road is via a sensor pod that is located on the roof of the car, and designed by Kyle Vogt. It works in conjunction with a computer in the boot and there is a separate control panel that is situated next to the driver. The sensor relays information back to the computer, which then makes real time decisions on where it should be positioned on the road. It is this sensor that also relays information about possible speed cameras.
The addition of these sensor pods is not without controversy however, as some drivers believe that speed cameras are there to stop drivers going over the speed limit, and are therefore essential to road safety. Others state that you should not be able to ‘cheat’ the system, but then there are those that say that if your car is slowing down anyway, what is the problem?
So far the sensor pods are not able to locate any mobile speed cameras, so any used by police in vans or hand held are still going to be valid. The sensors can also be used to keep drivers maintaining the correct speed on motorways or through towns and villages, and are ideal for people who are driving through new locations where they might be unaware of the correct limit.
The new sensor pods will not be available on the first models of the Genesis (available from October 2014), but will be released on further models.