New Ford Focus makes Euro NCAP history for advanced safety technologies

WITH the new Focus, Ford has become the first non-premium automaker to win two Euro NCAP Advanced rewards. The Focus was recognised for Active City Stop, which monitors the road ahead and brakes automatically if a collision is imminent, and Lane Keeping Aid, which uses a forward camera to detect if the vehicle drifts out of its lane and applies a small amount of steering input to alert the driver.

WITH the new Focus, Ford has become the first non-premium automaker to win two Euro NCAP Advanced rewards. The Focus was recognised for Active City Stop, which monitors the road ahead and brakes automatically if a collision is imminent, and Lane Keeping Aid, which uses a forward camera to detect if the vehicle drifts out of its lane and applies a small amount of steering input to alert the driver.

The Focus also earned Euro NCAP’s maximum 5-star crash safety rating, including the highest possible dynamic score for child protection in both frontal and side impact collision tests. Focus also excelled in the adult and pedestrian safety categories.

“At Ford, our mission is to provide outstanding levels of safety through accident avoidance technologies and advanced occupant protection systems, which makes this recognition from Euro NCAP incredibly gratifying,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “We are proud that we have made these technologies available to so many people in an affordable car like the new Focus.”

Dr. Andre Seeck, President of Euro NCAP, said: “The Euro NCAP Advanced Awards recognise safety innovation of the highest level and we are delighted that Ford has shown its commitment to the safety of its vehicles such as the new Focus.”

Active City Stop helps reduce the risk of low speed collisions by monitoring the road in front for stationary traffic and then braking automatically if the system detects a stationary vehicle in its path of travel and a collision is imminent.

At speeds up to 30km/h, a lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor positioned at the top of the windscreen scans the area up to around 7.6 metres ahead of the vehicle for possible obstacles. If the vehicle approaches a braking, slower moving or stationary vehicle in front and it determines that a collision is likely, the brakes are pre-charged. If the driver remains inactive (no steering or braking input), the car applies the brakes automatically and reduces engine torque.

Lane Keeping Aid uses a camera mounted at the top of the windscreen to monitor the road ahead of the vehicle. The images from the camera are continuously analysed to detect lane markings, typically solid or dashed white lines that delineate the edges of a lane or carriageway. Information about the position of the car relative to the lines is then used to help the driver stay within the intended lane.

If it detects an unintentional lane departure, it applies a steering torque to alert the driver. The system has been programmed to recognise manoeuvres such as overtaking. Both Active City Stop and Lane Keeping Aid are fully automatic but can be deactivated by a switch on the indicator stalk.

“At Euro NCAP, we are constantly seeing new and exciting innovation in the field of automotive safety from all manufacturers and the pace of these changes can only be good for road users across Europe,” said Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP.