It took 100 years to get 1 billion vehicles on the world’s roads and we are currently on track for this number to double by mid-century. When we look at the number fatalities, road rage incidents, gridlocks and the peak hour commute,our driving experience is only going to deteriorate.
Ford has realised the need to introduce automation into their vehicles to not only assist drivers in their day to day commute but also dramatically increase the safety on the roads.
To this end, Ford has devoted their research and development attention into the automated vehicles systems. Whilst Ford is not after the driverless vehicle, they are all about the automated systems that will take over the vehicle’s control when it detects situations that the driver is not reacting.
Whilst Ford is refining the Vehicle to Vehicle communications to share information about road conditions and traffic as well as enhancing their automatic collision avoidance systems, Ford is continuing to enhance their driver assistance technology. As a guest of Ford at Mobile World, Ford announced their new and enhanced driver assisted tech:
Using the ultrasonic sensors in the vehicle allows the Ford to “see” its surroundings and create a 3D map of the environment. Using this “map” the vehicle is able to take over the car’s control including steering wheel, break and accelerator and safely steer the car into the parking space.
Automated Parking – Both In and Out:
The current Ford Kuga and the new Ford Focus Sporting package in South Africa have the automated parallel parking ability where no driver interaction is required to parallel park beyond simply pressing the Active Park Assist button.
This parking system has now been extended to the driver-free-hands-free that helps drivers reverse into spaces alongside other cars known as Perpendicular Parking or Ally Docking.
Getting into the parking is one task, but getting out of the parking can be equally challenging.
To answer this challenge, the new Ford Focus incorporates Park-Out Assist which relies on the extra sensors in the vehicle’s rear bumper to help drivers as they manoeuvre out of their parking spot. The system uses the Cross Traffic Alert which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of any vehicles that may be crossing behind them. All the driver needs to do is choose the direction they wish to exit the parking, either the left or right hand side , and the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake.
This type of technology is typically available in experimental and concept vehicles, but Ford has managed to translate these into a production line vehicle essentially concept technology in today’s car.
The new Ford Focus is expected in South Africa by the 4th Quarter of 2014 and price is expected to be similar to today’s Spots package Ford Focus.
Ford is a parent too
When your 18 year old child get their driver’s licence is when parents start to picture images of their little darling drag-racing down Jan Smuts Avenue. Clearly someone at Ford is a parent who used their sleepless evenings to design the solution to help all parents.
The Ford’s MyKey technology is the answer.
MyKey enables owners to programme a key that restricts the top speed, reduces the maximum volume of the audio system, and can disable the vehicle altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts.
The system can prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control and Active City Stop, which can help mitigate or prevent low-speed collisions.
The MyKey technology is also suitable for fleet owners who can restrict their drivers from abusing the vehicles.
MyKey is available for the current Ford Fiesta in South Africa an will be available in the new Ford Focus too.