RAC data finds 800 more people would be killed or seriously injured each year without cameras / Getty Images

Ford predict that the technology will decrease fines and increase safety

The bright flash of a speed camera in the wing mirror can be one of the most infuriating moments for any driver, as you realise that you’ve let your speed creep up and made a costly mistake.

To remove human error from the equation, Ford has introduced a device on its latest S-Max model that will automatically prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits.

The built-in device, called the Intelligence Speed Limiter, automatically detects road signs and speed cameras and will act to slow the car down accordingly.

It operates through a windscreen-mounted camera that monitors road signs and judges when the speed limit is lower than the maximum set speed. The driver will have to manually set a maximum speed using controls on the steering wheel.

The Ford S Max car is presented

As the speed limit rises the system will allow the driver to accelerate up to the set speed, provided that it does not exceed the new speed limit, or the maximum limit set by the driver.

If the on board technology detects a lower speed limit than is in place, for example on a motorway, it will slow the car down to that level and then increase it if and when it rises.

The system is essentially an evolution of cruise control system.

Ford claims that the system could save drivers from picking up speeding fines or from being pulled over by the police for going too fast.

“Drivers are not always conscious of speeding and sometimes only become aware they were going too fast when they receive a fine in the mail or are pulled over by law enforcement,” said Ford Europe safety supervisor, Stefan Kappes.

“Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.”

The limiter will work between speeds of 20mph and 120mph and reduces speed by restricting the amount of fuel supplied to the engine, making deceleration smoother.

If the car happens to go down a hill and picks up speed that cannot be restricted this way, then an alarm will sound so the driver can apply more breaking.

The system is optional and can be overridden at any time by the driver putting their foot down firmly on the accelerator.

The car can further detect a person or object in the road ahead and slam on the brakes if the driver reacts too slowly themselves.

The S-Max with the new technology can be ordered now from £24,535.