Ford today unveiled several new, “next-generation” driver-assist technologies currently in-development at their European Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany. These upcoming driver-assist features include cross-traffic alert with braking functionality, an evasive-steering assist system, and a wrong-way warning system.
Ford’s cross-traffic alert with braking aims to reduce stress on the driver while parking by using sensors to detect people and objects passing behind the vehicle that the driver might otherwise not notice. If something is detected in the vehicle’s path, the system will alert the driver, ultimately intervening with automatic braking if he or she fails to respond. At the same time, a live feed from a wide-view camera mounted in the rear of the vehicle will aid drivers in seeing what’s behind their vehicle.
Ford’s future evasive-steering assist system, demonstrated in the video above, will help drivers to avoid forward collisions at city and highway speeds by allowing them to activate an automated evasive steering maneuver. It builds upon Ford’s existing Pre-Collision Assist, which can automatically apply up to full braking force to help lessen or avoid an imminent impact. The next-generation system can do this too, also providing drivers with the ability to initiate a controlled evasive maneuver when braking alone won’t be enough to avoid a collision.
Finally, Ford’s future wrong-way warning system will help keep drivers from traveling in the wrong direction by using a combination of navigation data and info from a front-facing camera to recognize when the vehicle is traveling against the flow of traffic.
“Driver-assist technologies help us all be better drivers because they enhance our ability to see and sense the road around us,” says Ford Driver-Assist and Active Safety Manager Scott Lindstrom. “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.”
Ford is committed to tripling its investment in driver-assist functions. Each of the “next-gen” technologies detailed above is expected to be available on production Ford vehicles within the next two years.