Ford breaks new ground on driving comfort and safety

Motoring Correspondent


Motoring Correspondent


Ford breaks new ground on driving comfort and safety

Nerve-wracking, potentially hazardous and a significant contributor to repair bills for low-speed bumps and scrapes – parking is a pet-hate for drivers across Europe.

“From commuters to courier services and even the police, more people than ever are taking to two wheels and we want all cyclists to feel safe when riding on the roads,” said Gregor Allexi, development engineer, Driver Assistance Technologies & Active Safety, Ford of Europe.

“Drivers should always be conscious of the need to give cyclists space when sharing the roads, but cyclist detection technology acts like an extra pair of eyes to help prevent accidents from happening.”

It’s every driver’s worst nightmare and Ford is developing technology that could help stop it from happening - to prevent drivers from entering the motorway from the wrong direction.

Wrong way crashes are more likely to produce serious injuries and fatalities compared with other collisions. In Germany, 3 per cent of fatal accidents on motorways are caused by people driving the wrong way, accounting for around 20 fatalities each year.

Wrong Way Alert uses a windscreen mounted camera and information from the car’s navigation system to provide drivers with audible and visual warnings when driving through two 'No Entry' signs on a motorway ramp. The system – first available for customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – builds on Traffic Sign Recognition that uses a forward-facing windscreen‑mounted camera to scan the environment for road signs and alert the driver to their presence. Wrong Way Alert uses the camera and the navigation system to help warn drivers to stop or turn around.

Traffic Jam Assist is a further technology previously announced by Ford, and expected to first arrive for customers within two years. The system assists the driver in keeping the vehicle centred in the lane and brakes and accelerates to keep pace with the vehicle in front.

Longer term, Ford is also developing a Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System that widens the headlight beam at junctions and roundabouts after interpreting traffic signs.

Intelligent Speed Limiter, which when activated scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits and avoid fines

Glare-Free Highbeam, which uses a windshield-mounted camera to detect the headlights or taillights of bicycles up to 100 metres away, motorcycles up to 400 metres away and cars up to 800 metres away at night, and uses specially developed headlights to block light that could otherwise temporarily blind other drivers and cyclists

Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System, which adjusts the headlight beam angle and intensity to match the driving environment, including a Weather-Dependent Lighting mode that automatically adjusts headlights to help drivers spot roadside hazards in extreme heavy rain.

Ford drivers have for some time also benefitted from parking technologies including: Perpendicular Parking, which can detect and reverse the car hands-free into spaces alongside other cars in the same way that Active Park Assist helps drivers. to parallel park

Park-Out Assist, which helps drivers exit a parallel parking space, the system operating the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake

Side Parking Aid, which delivers audible alerts and on-screen distance indicators to obstacles around the vehicle
Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them
Further driver assistance technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System, Traffic Sign Recognition,Lane Keeping Alert,Lane Keeping Aid andDriver Alert.