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Driver Assist Technologies

Sixty years ago, we became the first automaker to offer factory-installed safety belts, and our legacy of safety innovation endures to this day. We continue to roll out a range of technologies designed to enhance vehicle safety and help customers drive more safely.

Our Approach to Automotive Safety

Ford views automotive safety holistically, and actively works this approach into all areas of our business, from vehicle design and manufacturing to operator behavior and the motor vehicle environment.

We continue to implement innovations that enhance vehicle safety. We are also working on vehicles that communicate with each other and with the world around them, and share learnings with colleagues who are working toward our vision of an integrated transportation ecosystem.

A variety of Ford technologies are available to help customers drive more safely and to alert them to a potential collision. These driver assist systems can also aid with routine driving tasks to reduce demands on the driver.

Our vehicles offer a range of driver assist features and semi-autonomous technologies that use radar, sonar and cameras to see, sense and interpret the environment. The very latest driver assist technologies, listed here, are available on specific vehicles in certain markets:

  • Speed Assist: Adjustable Speed Limiter Device; Traffic Sign Recognition; Intelligent Speed Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Braking and Collision Avoidance: Active City Stop; Forward Collision Warning With Brake Support; Pre-Collision Assist With Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Management: Lane-Keeping System; Driver Alert System
  • Vision and Visibility: Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert; Rearview Camera
  • Parking: Active Park Assist; Enhanced Active Park Assist
  • Other Technologies: Auto Hold; Hill Start Assist; Curve Control

Our Latest Technology

Developing new systems is part of our commitment to triple our investment in developing driver assist technologies. New features that are now available include the following:

  • Return to Park

    Available on the 2017 Ford Fusion, the Return to Park feature uses data from a network of sensors to detect conditions that indicate a customer’s intent to exit the vehicle. The smart technology can automatically shift to park, even if the driver forgets; for example, if the vehicle is turned off, or if the driver’s safety belt is unlatched and the driver’s door is opened when the vehicle is stationary.

  • Pedestrian Detection

    We have introduced new technology that enhances the current Pre-collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that can automatically brake for pedestrians, both in daylight and at night. This advanced Pedestrian Detection system scans the road and pavement ahead for people already in, or about to step into, the road ahead, and can automatically apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision and the driver doesn’t respond to initial warnings. Later this year, the advanced Pedestrian Detection system will be introduced on the next-generation Fiesta in Europe, while in North America, it will debut on the 2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ford Mustang.

  • ACC Stop and Go

    ACC Stop and Go is a new semi-autonomous technology that “piggybacks” on the existing adaptive cruise control feature, and can help drivers experience less stress on the road. When activated, it automatically accelerates and brakes for the driver while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. If the car stops for more than three seconds, the driver can tap the resume button or accelerator and the car returns to its preset speed. ACC Stop and Go has been added to the 2017MY Continental and Fusion/MKZ.

  • BLIS (Blind Spot Information System)

    To help change lanes when pulling a trailer, the 2017 F-150 Raptor offers the BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with trailer coverage, which extends the blind spot zone range behind the vehicle to include the trailer. And our 2017 Super Duty features Trailer Reverse Guidance with cameras fitted in the front grille, tailgate and side view mirror.

What’s Next in Driver Assist Technology?

Ford’s driver assist technologies have the potential to improve safety today, and form the building blocks for an autonomous future tomorrow. We are currently testing fully autonomous vehicle technology in real-world conditions, as well as implementing key semi-autonomous technologies across our entire portfolio.

Our Latest Technologies

Watch a short video about Evasive Steering Assist.

Evasive Steering Assist helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to avoid collisions. Designed to operate at city and highway speeds, it uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead, and provides steering support to enable drivers to avoid a vehicle if a collision is imminent. The system is activated if there is insufficient space to avoid a collision by braking and the driver initiates evasive action.

See how the Wrong Way Alert works.

Wrong Way Alert technology uses a windshield-mounted camera and information from the vehicle’s navigation system to offer customers visual and audio warnings should they begin driving the wrong direction against traffic.

Introducing Ford Traffic Jam Assist.

Another of our new technologies, Traffic Jam Assist, helps the driver keep the vehicle centered in a lane, plus it brakes and accelerates to keep pace with the vehicle in front.

We are also conducting research with a variety of public, private and academic entities to progress toward a future in which autonomous and connected vehicles communicate with one another, and with the road infrastructure, to help avoid collisions and reduce congestion:

  • Technical Challenges Surrounding Automated Driving

    • Collaborating with the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Automated Driving Applications and Technologies (AdaptIVe)

    • Lead contributor to the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) Automated Vehicle Research report, commissioned by NHTSA

  • Practical and Policy Challenges of Connected Vehicles

    • Part of Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC), a group of 10 automakers and the U.S. Department of Transportation, looking at security and privacy, the allocation of risk and liability, and the funding of necessary infrastructure

  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle Safety Communication Systems

    • Co-leading a group of eight automakers through CAMP

  • Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Applications

    • Leading a separate consortium, working with the Federal Highway Administration

  • Cyber Security

    • Developing Automotive Cyber Security Best Practices alongside members of the Auto Alliance and Global Automakers, and in conjunction with the Auto-ISAC

  • Driver Distraction

    • Ford continues to invest a significant amount of time and resources researching driver distraction. Through partnerships with universities and organizations such as the AAM, we have been focusing on analyzing data from large-scale naturalistic driving studies (NDS)

  Read our front page story about how we’re helping drivers make good decisions behind the wheel