The new Ford S-Max introduces a technology called Intelligent Speed Limiter, a cruise control setting that can read speed limit signs and automatically keep the car at the maximum posted speed even when that speed changes. The driver activates it by pressing a button on the steering wheel, the S-Max does the rest, and the minivan will inform the driver if it exceeds the limit for some reason, for instance, when going downhill.
Slowing down, like when crossing from a 40 mile-per-hour zone to a 30-mph zone, is handled by fuel flow, not by the brakes – the car simply cuts engine power. It works anywhere from 20 mph to 120 mph, yet as with every other cruise control it’s totally driver controlled; pressing the accelerator will override the system at any time. The aim is to help drivers avoid tickets, not take over the car.