New BMW 7-Series Paves the Way for Speed Limiters

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
new bmw 7 series paves the way for speed limiters

You know how it is with press releases. You read through the hyperbole (“the first 750i of 1987 famously offering more computing power than NASA utilised to put man on the moon”) thinking of snarky things to say (as does my microwave oven). And then it hits you: there’s something not right here. Hang on; is that the speed limit I spy with my little eye? Sho’ nuff: the new BMW 7-Series marries the optional Lane Departure Warning system (achtung baby!) with the innocuously named “Speed Limit Display.” From the press release: “Using a camera mounted behind the rear view mirror, the system cross-references the GPS navigation system information and the real-world information to constantly monitor the legal speed limit, and relays this information to the driver in the dashboard or, if specified, into the Head-up Display. The car’s hard drive is pre-programmed with all of Europe’s speed limits but, in the case of road works or incidents, limits can vary. The camera reads the numbers on temporary road signs and over-rides the known speed limit, bringing this information constantly into the driver’s line of sight.” Dummkopf! Limits can vary! Link the GPS speed limits with the cruise control and Big Brother’s your spymaster! Coming to an island nation near you soon!

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4 of 13 comments
  • Kendahl Kendahl on Nov 18, 2008

    So much for BMWs being driver's cars. With speed governed to match the posted limit, the only difference between a new 7 series and an old Caprice or Crown Vic would be $75,000. Actually, the latter would be superior since they wouldn't have governors.

  • CaliCarGuy CaliCarGuy on Nov 18, 2008

    ugghh im so sick of bmw wit these damn in car techno nannies. sooner or later we wont even have to drive a car anymore. and wat happens wen all this shit breaks down?

  • JEC JEC on Nov 18, 2008

    Uh, there is no mention of governors. It's just a possibility. As it has been for many years. Having a HUD showing the limit is nothing that special. My TomTom shows the speed limit and glows red when I exceed it, OOOOOOOH! Big brother, blah blah.

  • JJ JJ on Nov 19, 2008

    Yeah, the car will not slow down itself if you're over the speed limit, it will just inform you that you are doing so, in case you didn't mean to. Just like those electrical signs on the side of the road always saying "You're driving too fast" with a sad smiley face. Hopefully though, you can also turn this option off, and hopefully you're insurance company can't use the data to say "yeah, you were clearly doing 5 over the speed limit there, so I'm sorry but we won't be able to cover the damage you caused with that collision".