I was horrified when my £63,000 BMW X5 “took over and attempted to reach speeds of 180mph on a 30-mile road”.
A MOTORIST has described the horrifying moment his car shot up to 4 times its top speed after a technical mishap.
Stuart Greengrass, 71, activated cruise control as he drove down his quaint Essex village lane.
Along the 30-mile road in Great Wakering, the retired company director’s BMW X5 misinterpreted the road’s speed limit.
The car began to pick up speed and attempted to reach 110 mph.
With minimal reaction time, Greengrass hit the brakes and threw him back in his seat.
Speaking to the TimesMr Greengrass said: “The car ran off like a scalded cat.
“These are big, powerful cars and it accelerated really quickly and I felt like the car took over. It sped away and I had to intervene very quickly to keep the car from going dangerously fast.”
On the Southend seafront, his wife Sue suffered a dangerous case of deja vu.
Once again the car shot towards 100mph. Once again, a confused Greengrass had to brake.
Cruise control is a feature that allows motorists to set a default speed limit and maintain it on the road.
Among the more modern and technologically adept variants is BMW’s Speed Limit Assist.
These use GPS data and a digital map to monitor the car’s position and log speed limits on the road.
WHAT IS CRUISE CONTROL? AND WHY CAN IT SOMETIMES GO WRONG?
Cruise control is an electronic system that allows you to fix a vehicle’s accelerator pedal at a specific speed. This speed is maintained and allows you to take your foot off the pedal.
But this process can sometimes go dangerously wrong.
In more modern versions of cruise control, the car uses GPS signals and cameras in the rear-view mirror to estimate the speed limit on the road.
A technological error means that the system can misinterpret this limit.
From there, Speed Limit Assist will drive at whatever boundary it thinks the road is, forcing the driver to intervene and brake.
After complaining to his local dealership, a representative drove another car, equipped with the same technology, down the same street.
Incredibly, the car was speeding toward the same 110-mile target as Mr. Greengrass’s.
Citing a problem with the car’s sensors and that there was “no fault with the car”, Mr Greengrass was puzzled.
He said: “BMW was supposed to be investigating this but they have refused to look at my car even when it’s registering speeds of 100mph. How they can say there is no error when they have replicated the problem on another model doesn’t make sense to me. ”
BMW released a statement on the mishap.
The German manufacturer said: “When the driver activates the ‘automatically adapt’ function, it remains their responsibility to validate the decisions of the system. BMW Speed Limit Assist functionality is a driver aid and is not being developed or marketed as an autonomous driving feature and the driver remains responsible for ensuring they do not exceed the permitted speed limit.
This is repeated in the vehicle manual. The cruise control speed limit is deliberately communicated to the driver at all times so that he can react quickly if necessary.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10018870/my-bmw-tried-to-hit-110mph-on-30mph-road/ I was horrified when my £63,000 BMW X5 “took over and attempted to reach speeds of 180mph on a 30-mile road”.