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The car tech that could eliminate speeding tickets

Hyundai has introduced a technology that not only alerts drivers about roadside cameras installed to catch speeders, it automatically slows down your car so you don't get a ticket.

By Money Staff Jul 8, 2014 2:27PM

This post comes from Brad Tuttle at partner site Money magazine.

Money magazine on MSN MoneyThe 2015 Hyundai Genesis has been getting mostly positive reviews from car experts. Kelley Blue Book, for instance, described the new model—the affordable automaker’s high-end vehicle aimed to compete in the luxury category with Mercedes and BMW—as “beguilingly quick” and still very “comfortable and quiet.” And the automatic braking system is a potential life-saver: Using cameras and radar sensors, the vehicle can sense danger up ahead and hit the brakes automatically if the driver hasn’t already reacted.

Yet one of the coolest features in the vehicle’s automatic braking system has been overlooked in most American reviews, which isn't surprising considering that the technology won’t be available in the U.S. market, at least not yet.

2015 The Hyundai Genesis is seen at the 2014 International Auto Show in Madrid, Spain © Emilio Naranjo/EPAAs first reported in Australia's, Hyundai spokesman Guido Schenken explained that the new Genesis’s GPS is preloaded with the locations of roadside cameras that track speeding cars and dish out tickets when appropriate. The car then alerts the driver that he’s about to zip past a camera and, if necessary, the brakes are applied automatically so the vehicle isn’t over the local speed limit.

"It will beep 800 meters before a camera and show the legal speed, and it will beep at you if your speed is over that," said Schenken. "It knows there is a speed camera there, it knows where the speed camera is and it will adopt the correct speed."

The technology, which is expected to be offered in the near future only in a select few markets, including Australia and South Korea, has the potential to save drivers from hefty speeding ticket fines—at least those generated from roadside cameras. It also shows a glimpse into the likely future for all drivers. Even before the era of fully-fledged self-driving cars, tools such as this will probably “take over” cars in a smaller, piecemeal manner and help drivers out in ways our grandparents could never have imagined.

On the one hand, using advanced technology just to save lawbreakers from having to pay speeding tickets may seem frivolous, and perhaps even a bad idea. In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that this is a misuse of technology that will actually make roads more dangerous as it helps drivers speed more without the fear of getting busted holding them back.

On the other hand, roadside cameras are almost universally hated by drivers, so the technology is bound to be adopted wherever it’s legal. What’s more, driver groups like to highlight statistics indicating that cameras installed to catch speeders, people who roll through STOP signs, and such can themselves cause accidents. How? Basically because when drivers see the cameras at the last minute, they tend to slam on the brakes, increasing the chances of rear-end collisions.

For what it’s worth, the technology exists right now to help drivers avoid getting ticketed via roadside cameras, and it doesn’t require the purchase of a Hyundai Genesis or a move to South Korea. GPS manufacturers such as TomTom and Garmin offer a range of subscription services that maintain updated lists of roadside camera locations, and the service will beap at the driver as he’s approaching one. “This service helps drivers to be safer on the road and avoid costly traffic tickets,” the TomTom site explains. The Phantom Alert smartphone app, which costs $10 per month or $30 for a year, works similarly.

Just don’t go expecting the car to slow down automatically when the camera alert goes off. It’s up to you, the driver, to actually hit the brakes and get down under the speed limit.

More from Money magazine

Jul 8, 2014 3:34PM
Older cars have features to help avoid speeding tickets, too. They're called "speedometers".
Jul 8, 2014 3:51PM
Or, we could just drive the speed limit. Kind of a novel idea, but it does cut down on tickets.
Jul 8, 2014 4:15PM
Jul 8, 2014 3:23PM
It's a great feature, but it will probably have to be updated occasionally to get the info on new cameras, so that will cost you a fee.  Just like your GPS, you have to join their plan to get updates.  It would be great if Hundai put updates in when you brought your car in for service or allowed free downloads for free.
Jul 8, 2014 4:17PM
this could be fun. i will get a radar gun and then sit outside the hyundai dealer  screwing with the people test driving the cars...   ha.  and why should we obey the speed limits when the cops dont and the government wont enforce of live by their own laws   you know like protecting the borders, heck how about turning over some e-mails???? 
Jul 8, 2014 5:18PM
Exactly when did people decide common sense and thinking for one's self was no longer necessary? Was it by chance around the same time that taking/accepting personal responsibility for one's own actions was cast aside?
Jul 8, 2014 6:16PM
The question should fast can that semi truck behind you slow down?......I'll bet not s fast as your Hyundai.
Jul 8, 2014 3:25PM
What we need a gadget that will zap the cop's speed gun or camera out of commission
Jul 9, 2014 3:23PM
Now if only they could created a technology that would prevent mindless jerks from driving 2 mph under the speed limit in the left lane.
Jul 8, 2014 4:42PM
I'd take a rear end collision over being broadsided. If someone is that close that they can't stop if you do, the resulting accident is on their insurance. I drive a heavy vehicle and don't worry too much about getting the raw end of an accident.
Jul 8, 2014 4:58PM
Here's a better idea, darken the windows of your vehicle to the maximum permitted. This will not allow the camera to take an identifiable picture of the driver. Then when the ticket comes fight it in court. Since a speeding ticket is a moving violation that is applied to the license of the driver (not the owner of the vehicle) it is up to the court to prove that it was you behind the wheel. 
Jul 8, 2014 5:15PM
Those devices that flip over the license plate come in handy too.
Jul 8, 2014 4:58PM
Yeah but what about those lead-footed, chasing radars? 
Jul 8, 2014 4:24PM
Interesting. What tells the vehicle what the speed zone is for that area?
Jul 24, 2014 6:21PM
What next? Don't you think that technology will change in the camera detection ability. Cell phone features are not the only things that get updated and changed every time a new model comes out. Radar cameras have come a long way in advancement since they first came into use. why do we always try to change, upgrade, the devices instead of making people responsible for their actions and holding them accountable. We blame gun makers for misuse of guns, car makers for bad drivers, the judicial system for bad cops, lawyers, and judges. And illegal drugs for all of society for all of the crimes and ills in America. What if for one week their were no legal or illegal drugs in this country. What is for one day no one was allowed to drive. What device would we place the blame on then? We have become a nation of excuse makers who refuse to place the blame where it belongs on ignorant people who refuse to obey the law, do not use common sense when using technology because we think we are entitled to do what we want, when we want, to anyone we want.
Jul 9, 2014 4:18PM
I don't care if commenters can't spell, but when the so-called "journalists" can spell or use grammer--which translates to easier reading and respect for your readers--well, this is just atrocious.
Jul 9, 2014 4:01PM
Excellent! You mean the moron in the jacked- up 1995 F-150 with the girlie mudflaps will get off my butt by automatically slowing down to within 20 mph of the speed limit?

Oh....only new cars?!?......never mind.

Jul 8, 2014 6:17PM
What...and cheat the state out all that revenue?.......not gonna' happen
Jul 8, 2014 5:50PM
Or you can get a radar detector unit such as Passport or Bell, and be also safe from the highway patrol units. They all use either the "K" or the "Ka" bands.
Jul 9, 2014 11:44AM
"The car then alerts the driver that he’s about to zip past a camera and, if necessary, the brakes are applied automatically so the vehicle isn’t over the local speed limit"
"Just don’t go expecting the car to slow down automatically when the camera alert goes off. It’s up to you, the driver, to actually hit the brakes and get down under the speed limit."

Uhhh... so which is it? Does the car brake automatically or not?
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