Saturday, July 5, 2014


Hyundai is about to unveil a new safety feature for its 2015 Genesis sedan that can detect speed cameras and automatically brake if the driver is going too fast near them. The system will beep 800 meters before a camera and show the legal speed, and it will beep at you if your speed is over that. The system combines the automatic emergency braking technology offered in the Genesis sedan with the car’s GPS system so it “knows where the speed camera is and it will adopt the correct speed.” Either you brake or the Genesis sedan will brake for you — and potentially save you from a fine.

The combination of these two common contemporary systems seems like an obvious step, and many may welcome any feature intended to reduce their chances of getting a ticket, but Hyundai’s proposed system is not without controversy. First example: The automaker later recanted to that it would not offer the system and we did not get a response from Hyundai's U.S. representatives asking for clarification.

It’s impossible to know how things will pan out, but it’s safe to say Hyundai’s idea would generate a great deal of conversation and debate. What’s to stop a manufacturer from setting up an auto-braking system that prevents drivers from speeding at all, or to use information from suspension control systems to "slow down" what it perceives as aggressive cornering? With backup cameras mandated to become standard equipment, what else will be argued as being "in the public interest" in the near future, and will we all be legislated into essentially autonomous vehicles before all is said and done?

Hyundai's system would only be effective against fixed speed cameras and ones that measure average speed, not mobile cameras or handheld radar guns commonly used by law enforcement. With this first step, however, the others are sure to follow. While the 2015 Genesis sedan makes its debut later this year, the speed camera/auto-braking system won’t be offered for some time afterwards, if it arrives on our shores (or any shores) at all. In the meantime, we’ll all just have to avoid tickets manually.

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