For the 2015 model year Ford Motor Company will be introducing a new driver-assist system that can reduce the severity − or even eliminate − some frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians. Called Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Ford will debut this new feature on the 2015 Ford Mondeo (aka Fusion) in Europe and then offer it for other Ford and Lincoln products around the world.
“This technology adds to the already impressive list of driver-assist technologies Ford customers benefit from today,” says Ford group vice president for Global Product Development, Raj Nair.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses radar and cameras to scan the roadway ahead. If the system senses a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian, it provides a warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, the system improves brake responsiveness by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs, even applying (up to) full braking force automatically to help reduce or eliminate the severity of front-end collisions. Pedestrian Detection should help the driver avoid pedestrians at lower speeds.
Ford engineers spent months refining the technology on roads around the world to test system reliability. “This real-world testing was an important part of the development, because pedestrians in an urban setting can present a wide range of potential situations,” says the manager for Driver Assist Technologies, Scott Lindstrom. “We covered more than 300,000 miles on three continents that included a wide range of settings and situations.”
While the new system may be a saving grace in unexpected situations, it does not replace an attentive driver. There also are limitations including nighttime, low and harsh lighting conditions, vehicles moving in a different direction, and certain weather conditions.