Ford Technology Evolution Holds Promise for Automated Car in Future
DEARBORN, MI: Ford has been the vanguard of automotive innovation. To that end, it has sucessfully tested its car with the introduction of various new technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system, lane-keeping system with lane-keeping aid, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control (ACC) and active park assist to help driver avoid collision and control the vehicle.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses the combination of radar signal and camera sensing. The front lobe of the car emits radar signal to detect any pedestrian. Once it identifies the pedestrian, soon an audio message as well as light blink will be flashed to warn the driver. If driver response is late, it will automatically shorten the distance between brakes and brake pads to slow down the car. If still driver doesn’t react at all, then brake will be applied.
Lane keeping system uses small, forward-facing camera installed behind the rear-view mirror. The system monitors lane line ensuring vehicle does not cross it. It gives audio and visual warnings as well as a three-pulse vibration in the steering wheel by lane keeping alert to driver once vehicles break the lane line. Then the lane keeping aid will apply a steering torque in the direction the driver needs to steer to keep the vehicle in the current lane. This system has manual mode as well.
In BLIS, the front car will emit the radar signal to spot the vehicle behind coming into defined blind spot zone. It will immediately identify the approaching vehicle and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side view mirror. Cross-traffic alert warns the driver of impending traffic while backing out of a parking spot. With the help of multiple-beam radar modules, the cross-traffic alert identifies if any vehicle is approaching at least 5 mph within 45 foot range. When cross traffic is approaching, it will give warning as an indicator light corresponding outside mirror and an audible alert as well as message display. It also senses vehicle coming at a 90-degree angle.
With ACC, the car will slow down and speeds up automatically to keep the maintained distance with the vehicle in front. The radar sensors monitor the traffic ahead, lock the car in a lane and keep the car 2, 3, or 4 seconds behind the person car ahead. The driver can set the maximum speed of car as well. The Active cruise control is paired up with forward collision warning with red lights flash at the driver, display of message ‘Brake’ or ‘Brake Now!’ on instrument panel and a loud chime sounds.
Ford active park assist helps driver to find the parking spot with 1.2 times longer space and guides the vehicle while parking on parallel parking with the help of radar signal. The driver just has to press the ‘Auto |P|’ button.
These new technologies have the limitation including nighttime, low and harsh lighting conditions, vehicles moving in a different direction and certain weather conditions. But this technology evolution sure sparks the dream of automated car project in future, as reported by Will Knight from Technology Review.