Siemens VDO has developed a Traffic Sign Recognition system that’s set up to alert drivers if they’re driving too fast. A camera is installed that constantly monitors the road ahead and can recognize speed limits on traffic signs. Information is then relayed to the driver, warning them to slow down if the vehicle’s speed is above that of the posted limit.

We can see the days when instead of giving off a warning, the system automatically reduces the speed without the consent of the driver. Fortunately, the project is still in pre-pilot mode, but it may appear in regular production models sooner than you think. According to Siemens VDO, production of the new system may start as early as 2008. Other companies and educational institutions have been working on such systems for some time now, but Siemens' close ties with the automotive industry means their solution has a better chance of making it to market.

There is however one major flaw that may prevent such a deterrent from ever reaching cars, and that’s the issue of speeding out of a dangerous situation. There are times when it’s necessary for a vehicle to exceed the speed limit such as to avoid a collision or get away from a carjacker, so let’s hope this never makes it to production.