For all you fans of the Blue Oval, there’s alot to be excited about. Not only does Ford have an outstanding research program currently with the Eco-Boost family of engines they are also on the leading edge of technology with their autonomous vehicle research.
Ford plans on adding accident avoidance and pedestrian detection technologies to some of their lineup as soon as next year. The features are part of what Ford describes as the “second of three phases” in their autonomous vehicle technology and the plan is to equip most of the U.S. product lineup with driverless features by 2019. A significant amount of research has already begun and engineering has been testing an automated Ford Fusion for about a year.
Here at Horsepower Broadcasting, we’re continually impressed by some of Ford’s forward thinking and planning and there are a number of upcoming developments that have us pretty excited. Some of those developments include:
- Adjustable Speed Limiter Device, a technology that allows the driver to preset a maximum speed that cannot be easily overridden.
- Adaptive Cruise Control, this system uses a radar module in the front of the vehicle to maintain a preset distance to the car in front. The technology is not necessarily the newest but the latest refinements are impressive.
- Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support, this technology uses the same radar module as Adaptive Cruise Control to detect range and speed. Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support activates a visual and audible warning when the system detects a high risk of collision with the vehicle in front.
- Lane Keeping System, this technology really is our favorite here and we talk about it regularly on our national “Horsepower for an Hour” radio broadcast. This system uses a small, forward-facing camera behind the inside rearview mirror, the system “looks” down the road, monitoring lane lines. If the camera sees the vehicle wandering close to lane markings it warns the driver by vibrating the steering wheel. If the driver does not respond, the system can go farther and apply the steering torque needed to keep the vehicle in the current lane.
- Traffic Sign Recognition, yes that’s right folks. You heard us correctly. Theres even a camera now that can read traffic signs and alert the driver accordingly.
Ford made a statement last year that it was working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to develop algorithms for use in driverless cars. Ford calls it the “Blueprint for Mobility” and it’s geared toward some of the autonomous driving features that will be developed over the next several years.
One thing is certain, the next few years promise to be unlike any other in the history of the Automotive Industry. All of us at HorsepowerOnline.com look forward to tomorrows vehicles with childlike enthusiasm. The future is now and it feels great
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