Ford set to introduce auto-brake system

Image: Wired UK

Ford will start to offer a new driver-assist system designed to help motorists avoid hitting pedestrians or rear ending other motorists. The system is called ‘Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection’ and incorporates a camera on the windshield and a radar mounted in the bumper that work synergistically to identify and categorise any potential problems. Once a problem is detected and if the driver is not responding in an appropriate manner, the system will automatically brake, applying full force if necessary.

The primary goal of this system and others that are being developed by Volvo and Tesla is to reduce collisions when the driver is distracted and not to replace the driver, as both Tesla and Ford have recently stated. Ford has undertaken extensive testing of the system on closed test tracks and is ready to admit that there are limitations to the system that include extreme lighting conditions, congested roads and certain weather conditions.

“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,” said Ford’s Scott Lindstrom. “We covered more than 300,000 miles on three continents that included a wide range of settings and situations.”

The system is set to debut on the 2015 European Mondeo.

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