View Collision Warning Video (YouTube)
Ford Motor Company, building on its safety and technology leadership, announced it will offer a new advanced “active” collision-avoidance technology, Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support, on the 2010 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS sedan and Lincoln MKT crossover in summer 2009 to meet growing demand for technologies that help drivers avoid sudden, unexpected hazards.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead. When the danger of a collision is detected, the system warns the driver with an authoritative beep and a red warning light projected on the windshield above the instrument panel. The system also automatically pre-charges brakes and engages a brake-assist feature that helps drivers quickly reach maximum braking once the brakes are engaged.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support is yet another radar-based “active” technology Ford is launching across a range of vehicles. Ford’s BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert debuts in spring 2009 on the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan (including hybrids) and then rolls out on the 2010 Taurus, MKS and MKT. The features use radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.
The new technologies build on Ford’s leading number of top safety ratings, including the most 5-star government ratings of any automaker, and a leading number of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Picks.”
“The new Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support technology puts us on the leading edge of active safety to help customers detect and avoid possible dangers,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president of engineering, Global Product Development. “Ford will be the first to offer this technology on mainstream models that many families can afford.”
Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support builds on the basic function of Adaptive Cruise Control, a driver-assistance feature that Ford introduced on the 2009 Lincoln MKS. Adaptive Cruise Control uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead and modify cruising speed if necessary.
“Adaptive Cruise Control really marked the beginning of pre-emptive driver-assistance systems,” said Jerry Engelman, Adaptive Cruise Control supervisor, Chassis Electronics. “Ford was able to use the radar technology and experience to develop the Collision Warning with Brake Support system.”
Research indicates that Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support could be particularly helpful in warning a driver who is distracted or drowsy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of accidents involve driver inattention. The agency’s research found that one extra second of warning could prevent up to 90 percent of rear-end collisions.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support offers three programmable alert settings ranging from approximately 1.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds.
“It depends on the user’s preference, because one person’s false alarm may be another person’s near miss, and it's important that drivers are comfortable with the system,” said Tom Pilutti, technical expert, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Some people have a slower reaction time, and the longer time setting may meet their needs better than the shorter setting. Our research shows that most drivers will prefer and feel more comfortable with the longer default setting.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, forward collision warning systems like Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support have the potential to help prevent the kind of rear-end crashes that occurred 2.3 million times per year from 2002-2006 – almost 40 percent of the total crashes reported to police each year in the U.S.
Clearer sight with science
BLISTM (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert can help provide extra confidence to drivers in parking lots by alerting drivers sooner of nearby traffic while backing out. It uses two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels. The radar detects moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side-view mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. An audible alert is sounded as well.
Researchers at Ford’s North American advanced driving simulator, Virtual Test Track Experiment (VIRTTEX), dedicated most of the past few years studying how active safety technologies in vehicles may better alert drivers of potentially dangerous driving incidents.
“New technologies such as radar, cameras, lasers and GPS may enable us to offer more safety and convenience features in the future,” said Jeff Rupp, manager, Active Safety, Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center. “A key is identifying the kinds of warnings that drivers will find both more effective and easier to understand.”
For Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support, VIRTTEX researchers learned drivers respond more quickly to certain audible alerts that are more authoritative. Their research also shows some preference for a combination of warnings – audio alerts backed up by a visual warning – such as those that will be offered with Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support system.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
April 6, 2009