New Hyundai slows down ahead of speed radars

South Korean carmaker's Genesis model combines both GPS and breaking technology.

If you take the same road everyday to work, chances are you already know the exact locations of the speed cameras you will encounter along the way.

But if you are driving down a completely unfamiliar street, the thought of having a car that detects upcoming radars is comforting indeed.

Hyundai’s latest creation is designed to do exactly that. Its new Genesis will automatically slow down for speed cameras as it combines both GPS and braking technology.

It will detect radars at an 800 metre distance, alert the driver and automatically start slowing down gradually until it’s within the legal speed limit.

However, this system will only work on fixed speed cameras and not on patrolling police vehicles. This speed camera feature will not be available on the first models of the Genesis, coming out on October 2014, but will be incorporated in future versions and is not yet confirmed to arrive in the UAE.

The technology has already sparked controversy with safety advocates saying that the point is not to speed in the first place and this encourages reckless driving.

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Posted by: MT3

These comments remind me why bottles of bleach have to have the instructions "Not for Internal Consumption" on them. This functionality can be used safely as a back-up system for a, by definition, fallible human driver; for example, to ensure a change in speed limit is reacted to promptly or to check a driver whose speed is drifting unintentionally (it happens to many people on long journeys) or could be used irresponsibly to race between cameras in the knowledge the car will stop you getting caught. Do you not improve safety in 90% of cars because 10% might abuse the functionality? Should we get rid of e-brakes because they can be used to execute dangerous handbrake turns or high beam lights because they could be used to purposefully dazzle oncoming drivers? Or are we asssuming that drivers in the UAE are so bad that we can't trust them with functionality that will operate perfectly well in many other countries? That argument I would buy.

Posted by: Mark Renton

@MT3 I'm not sure having a device that is legal in "some" states/countries is particularly useful in a transport context. In France, for example, it is illegal to have a radar detector in the car, whether it is being used or not. So not much use to a UK-based Hyundai owner who wants to drive to Spain on holiday, for instance.

Posted by: MT3

Legal in most US states, Germany, UK, Russia, China - so I'm guessing in those markets alone, it's worth offering this functionality and it makes commercial sense. Car manufacturers often choose or have to specify cars differently for different markets. I'm going to take leap of faith that Hyundai have thought about the legality angle and worked out the R&D cost of this can be covered by the sales in those markets where it can be used. I'm also guessing you can switch it on and off and most places where detection equipment is illegal, it's the use of the equipment that is illegal not the ownership and that's hard to police given you can get GPS systems for your iphone that will do the same thing. For that reason I doubt they'll ban the car if even they did ship it with this functionality. It's estimated in the UK that drivers with radar detectors are 28% safer - I'd take that sort of improvement all day long.

Posted by: Mark Renton

Isn't the main point that radar detectors are illegal in many countries, regardless of the good intentions of the car manufacturer, meaning that you would be restricted in the countries you could buy or drive this car in?

Posted by: MT3

Plenty of cars already have collision detection/safe distance climate sensitive technology linked to their braking systems and programmed based on extensive testing and research to make the right and safest decision and these have been shown to improve safety materially. One has to assume that Hyundai haven't programmed this thing to brake from 200kph to 120kph in ten feet - if the action is not safe it won't take it. The key is how "intelligent" the system is and my guess it'll be more intelligent than the average driver on the roads of Dubai. The argument that it makes drivers lazy and over reliant on driving aids I'll buy (just).

Posted by: Colin Occupants

This will be dangerous in the UAE as the speed radars are set at 20kmh above the signposted speed limit. If you're doing 120kmh in the furthest left overtaking lane and your car automatically slows to 100kmh every couple of kilometres, you're going to be at a high risk of causing a collision.

Posted by: MOSA

Congratulations Hyundai on hitting an axe on your own foot, 110% this feature will not be approved by the authorities!
And I disagree with the statement that if we are going to work everyday we mostly know where radars are placed, with the kind of tactics UAE police use - it is impossible to avoid a radar! Best is to stay under matter how smart you think you are

Posted by: David

I totally agree with your last sentence Mosa, stick to the speed limit! It really isn't that hard . . .

Posted by: Umesh Rao

But isn't using or possessing a radar detector illegal in many countries, and it may result in fines, seizure of the device, or both. These prohibitions generally are introduced under the premise that a driver who uses a radar detector will pose a greater risk of accident than a driver who does not.

How does Hyundai propose to get around such laws ?? In this case will the vehicle be seized be the law enforcement authorities ??

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