Ford is about to begin producing self-driving vehicles, said a company statement on Monday.
Self-driving vehicles, which Ford labels as ‘judgmental cars’ are capable of helping drivers improve their driving skills by offering life saving warnings for unforeseen hazards, said the statement.
“Unlike judgmental people, judgmental cars aren’t there to bring you down; they can actually help make you a better driver, or offer potentially life-saving warnings for unforeseen hazards,” it said.
Here are five technologies – all available Ford technologies – to look for to help make the road safer and less stressful.
Driver alert system
The situation: The car is veering between lane markings.
The action: Warns the driver of their faltering vigilance level.
How it works: Ford’s Driver Alert System judges the driver’s vigilance level by measuring their car’s position within the lane and the yaw (or rotation) rate of the car.
Collision warning technology
The situation: The driver is in fast-moving traffic, there’s the potential for a collision with the vehicle in front, and they’re not acting to prevent it.
The action: Warns the driver to enable faster braking, even pre-charges brakes to increase sensitivity.
How it works: This technology continuously monitors the traffic conditions ahead. When it senses a high risk of collision with the vehicle in front and that the driver is not doing anything about it, the system will alert them with audio and visual warnings.
Active braking technology
The situation: They’re driving at slower speeds in traffic, and don’t step on the brakes quickly enough to deal with situations like a car in front suddenly changing into your lane, or stopping abruptly for a red light.
The action: Autonomously applies the brakes.
How it works: Active braking technologies are designed to trigger the brakes when they sense that the required braking force to avoid a collision is escalating, and they haven’t taken action yet.
Electronic stability programme
The situation: You swerve quickly, causing your car to lose traction.
The action: Automatically applies the brakes and adjusts engine torque to help the driver regain control.
How it works: Modern cars come with some version of an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which can help the driver maintain control in adverse driving situations or when they are making quick maneouvres.
Lane keeping system
The situation: The driver is drifting out of their lane and he is not indicating.
The action: Warns the drivers of the lane departure and steers them back to their current lane if they do not respond.
How it works: When the driver starts to leave their lane without indicating, Ford’s Lane-Keeping System which includes lane-keeping alert, alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane.