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System reads speed limits for drivers
Report: Auto technology company demonstrates system that will tell you when you're going too fast.
June 20, 2005: 12:59 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Drivers could soon have one more excuse to use if they get caught speeding.

Besides blaming their speedometers or partially obscured speed limit signs, drivers in the near future may be able to say: "The car read the sign wrong."

German auto parts supplier Robert Bosch GmbH has invented a new device that reads speed limit signs, according to a report in Wards Auto, an industry publication.

A special camera mounted below the rearview mirror searches for anything resembling a speed limit sign. When a sign is identified, the device scans the number and reads it to the driver in an audible voice, according to Ward's Auto.

The system was demonstrated on a Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan at the company's test track in Boxberg, Germany, the report said. The system can also be set to give a visual, rather than auditory, warning and to alert the driver only if the vehicle is exceeding the limit by a set amount, according to the report.

The device is designed to detect either European or U.S. speed limit signs, the report said, and should work in most conditions, day or night, rain or shine.

The technology is nearly ready for production and, Bosch said, several car companies have expressed interest in it, according to Ward's Auto.  Top of page

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