Next-gen­er­a­tion fea­tures make driv­ing eas­ier

Motor Equipment News - - OEM -

Build­ing on its in­dus­try lead­er­ship in avail­able driver-as­sist tech­nolo­gies, Ford 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.

On top of its ex­ist­ing safety fea­tures such as 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, Ford has de­vel­oped a num­ber of new fea­tures.

“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.

Fea­tures in development at Ford of Europe’s Re­search and In­no­va­tion Cen­tre 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. 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. Wrong-way alert tech­nol­ogy uses a wind­screen-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. 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 cur­rently avail­able on some mod­els (not in NZ). 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 cen­treed in a lane, plus it brakes and ac­cel­er­ates to keep pace with the ve­hi­cle in front. Ford’s port­fo­lio of driver-as­sist tech­nol­ogy cur­rently in­cludes: Adap­tive cruise con­trol works to slow the ve­hi­cle when radar de­tects traf­fic slow­ing ahead; after traf­fic clears, ve­hi­cle re­sumes its pre­set speed. For­ward col­li­sion warn­ing with brake sup­port uses radar to de­tect a po­ten­tial col­li­sion with a car ahead; driver is alerted with vis­ual and au­dio warn­ings. Driver Alert com­putes a driver’s vig­i­lance level and dis­plays it in the in­stru­ment clus­ter upon re­quest; if the vig­i­lance level fal­ters, sys­tem of­fers vis­ual and au­dio warn­ings. Lane de­par­ture warn­ing with lane­keep­ing as­sist no­ti­fies driv­ers of an un­in­ten­tional lane de­par­ture and ap­plies steer­ing wheel torque to keep the ve­hi­cle in its lane. Blind Spot In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (BLIS) with cross-traf­fic alert uses radar to de­tect ve­hi­cles around the car; an in­di­ca­tor lamp on the side-view mir­rors lights when de­tected. When back­ing up, the sys­tem alerts of ve­hi­cles ap­proach­ing from the sides. Ac­tive park as­sist uses ul­tra­sonic sen­sors to mea­sure the dis­tance be­tween cars to find a park­ing space, then helps steer the car into that space. Au­to­matic high-beam con­trol uses a cam­era to de­tect ve­hi­cles ahead, then au­to­mat­i­cally de­ac­ti­vates high beams. Hill Start As­sist helps the driver start the ve­hi­cle on an up­hill gra­di­ent by hold­ing the brakes; driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the ac­cel­er­a­tor. Curve Con­trol senses a driver tak­ing a curve too quickly and re­sponds by rapidly re­duc­ing engine torque, ap­ply­ing four-wheel brak­ing when needed.

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