Published: 04 November 201
Building on its industry leadership in available driver-assist technologies, Ford Motor Company is expanding its offerings with a range of next-generation features designed to ease parking hassles, improve collision avoidance, detect objects in the road and prevent wrong-way driving.
Ford offers more nameplates in the United States with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning with land-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, driver monitoring, adaptive high-beam assist, Blind Spot Information System and advanced parking assistant than any other full-line manufacturer.*
“Driver-assist technologies help us all be better drivers because they enhance our ability to see and sense the road around us,” said Scott Lindstrom, manager, driver-assist and active safety at Ford. “Ford’s investment in research and development is paying off by accelerating innovation to expand our portfolio of driver-assist technologies that deliver functionality and performance that customers will value.”
Cross-traffic alert with braking technology in development at Ford is being designed to help reduce parking stress by detecting people and objects about to pass behind the vehicle, providing a warning to the driver and then automatically braking if the driver does not respond. Rear wide-view camera, on the in-car display, will offer an alternative wide-angle view of the rear of the vehicle.
Enhanced active park assistwill parallel or perpendicular park at the push of a button.
Other features in development at Ford of Europe’s Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, include systems that steer around vehicles to help avoid high-speed collisions and systems that can warn drivers from traveling the wrong way against traffic.
These new technologies – expected to be available on Ford vehicles within two years – are part of the company’s commitment to triple its investment in developing driver-assist features.
Steering out of trouble
Evasive steering assist is a new technology that can help drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions. Designed to operate at city and highway speeds, it uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead, and provides steering support to enable drivers to avoid a vehicle if a collision is imminent. The system is activated if there is insufficient space to avoid a collision by braking and the driver decides to take evasive action.
Preventing wrong-way driving; taking the stress out of parking
Wrong-way alert technology uses a windshield-mounted camera and information from the car’s navigation system to offer customers visual and audio warnings should they begin driving the wrong direction against traffic.
Enhanced active park assist controls steering, gear selection, and forward and reverse movement to facilitate parking at the push of a button. It can enable a vehicle to automatically enter and exit a parallel parking space, as well as reverse into a perpendicular space.
“Parking is one of the most stressful experiences behind the wheel, and drivers struggling to find suitable parking spaces in urban areas can impact traffic flow,” said Dirk Gunia, supervisor, driver-assist electronics, Ford of Europe. “Technologies like enhanced active park assist will help drivers feel confident about parking in spaces they might otherwise consider too small.”
Cross-traffic alert with braking uses radar sensors to monitor the area behind the vehicle. If the driver is backing out and does not react to the initial warning, the system is designed to automatically apply the brakes.
Rear wide-view camera displays a broad view from the rear of the vehicle on the in-car display, offering similar functionality to the company’s front wide-view camera available for Ford Edge, along with Ford Galaxy and Ford S-MAX in other markets. When reversing, it provides an additional view that enables drivers to see around corners, as well as obstacles and objects approaching from behind the vehicle.
Additional technologies being developed by Ford include:
- Spot lighting technology uses an infrared camera to help detect pedestrians, cyclists and animals – highlighting these potential hazards for drivers
- Camera-based advanced front lighting system widens the headlight beam at intersections and roundabouts after interpreting traffic signs
- Traffic Jam Assist helps the driver keep the vehicle centered in a lane, plus it brakes and accelerates to keep pace with the vehicle in front