In recent years, the automobile world has seen a significantly high number of innovative driver assist technologies making their way into new cars. However, most of these have been developed and implemented by premium brands, while mass market badges provided customers with the more basic safety and convenience features. But all that seems to be about to change, as Ford has revealed a host of new technology features that the carmaker promises will make driving and parking easier and safer.
First among the new tech offerings will be a new cross-traffic alert system with automatic braking technology. This system, which is still under development, will detect people and objects about to pass behind the vehicle, warn the driver first and if there is no response, take over control by braking automatically. This, along with a new rear wide-angle camera, and active park assist will parallel or perpendicular parking abilities should make slotting your Ford into a parking bay a breeze.
Other features being developed at Ford’s European Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, include systems that let the brand’s vehicles steer around other vehicles on the road to avoid high-speed collisions, as well as those that can warn drivers if they inadvertently take a wrong exit and drive against traffic. The former, called Evasive Steering Assist is designed to operate at both city and highway speeds, and uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving or stationary vehicles ahead, and provides steering support to enable drivers to avoid a vehicle if a collision is imminent. The system kicks in if there isn’t enough space for the driver to avoid a collision by braking and takes suitable evasive action. Meanwhile, the latter, dubbed Wrong-way Alert, is a technology that uses a windshield-mounted camera and information from the car’s navigation system to provide drivers visual and audio warnings, if they, for some reason, end up driving against oncoming traffic.
“Driver-assist technologies help us all be better drivers because they enhance our ability to see and sense the road around us,” says 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.”
Part of the brand’s commitment to triple its investment in the development of driver assist features, these new technologies will be incorporated into Ford models within the next two years.