Vauxhall Insignia Sports Sign-Reading CameraS

GM's Vauxhall division — the one magically appearing in New England — is poised to release a forward-looking camera in the 2009 Vauxhall Insignia, which has us wondering why nobody ever thought of it before. The camera is a clever design, engineered to identify and read signs on the roadside while moving. Why would you want such capability? So the display can provide information, like the speed limit of the area in which you're traveling and whether or not passing is legal. But, as with any new technology, there is the potential for both good and evil.

Imagine tooling along the freeway knowing exactly the speed you should be going, exactly what the next set of exits you'll encounter are, the mile marker you're at, and whatever else you can program into the software. At the other end of the spectrum, imagine the terrifying idea of automatically speed-limited cars and Big Brother creeping further into your car. Hmm. Convenience or a step down the slippery slope? You decide. [AutoTraderUK]