The Blue Oval brand has been a cornerstone of success over the past several years. Recovering immensely from financial ruins in 2006, Ford Motor Company has effectively nailed the attitudes of the current automobile buyer. A main component of Ford’s recovery is identifying the advantages in high-tech features such as SYNC and the EcoBoost engine. Ford Motor Company progresses ahead looking at future technologies endeavouring into revolutionary ways we drive our vehicles (or rather the way our vehicles will drive with us).
Two technologies announced as under development by Ford seeks to ease a motorist of two most stressful parts of driving. Interesting that many of us seek high traffic towards our Twitter and Facebook accounts, there is few, if any, people who regard spending a considerable amount of time in amongst other cars within congested traffic pleasureful. Whether commuting to work or journeying towards a long-weekend vacation destination, the traffic jam is an unavoidable nuisance. Not only does traffic rob workplaces of productivity, eats time that could be devoted to other tasks, the slow speeds consume fuel in a most wasteful fashion. Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist technology is one way to trend of gridlock could be lessened.
According to engineer with Ford Research and Innovation Joseph Urhahne, typical drivers spend as much as 30 percent of their time behind the wheel in heavy traffic. Using a combination of radar and camera technology (similar to that already being incorporated on some Escape, Focus and Fusion models), Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist senses the movements of other road users as well as the primary user’s vehicle. Traffic Jam Assist technology adheres to the direction of traffic lanes on the highway with the capacity of self-correcting steering. Taking the minor steering adjustments from the driver, Ford proclaims the Traffic Jam Assist system will be a more relaxed driving experience. Traffic Jam Assist works in conjunction with other technologies such as adaptive cruise control to react even to sudden situations.
In simulations, Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist technology was said to reduce travel time by 37.5 percent when 25 percent of the study vehicles are fitted with this form of automated driving system. As Ford develops the Traffic Jam Assist program (which is said to be a “mid-term” solution from the auto company), careful consideration is going into properly notifying the motorist of all actions moving through congestion. The Traffic Jam Assist is also designed to be easily disengaged at will when unwanted or when road conditions are move favourable.
Leaving the highway, Ford’s latest exploration into more automated driving experiences is to enhance the active park assist technology. Already found on the Ford Focus, active park assist could be available to function for guidance into more conventional perpendicular parking spaces. Using much of the same technology involved in piloting active park assist equipped cars into parallel parking spots, expanding to perpendicular parking on Ford products capture a larger amount of intervention into everyday driving. When engaged, the system will detect a suitable spot and prompt the driver with notifications as electric power-assisted steering will guide the vehicle in through reverse. The driver will operate the transmission and speed controls as the car settles into the perpendicular parking spot. If parking is in-progress when an obstruction is detected or space is unsafe to continue entry, the active park assist will warn the driver. Ford eyes an expanded active park assist could be destined to production vehicles in the near future.
With the increasing focus on a potential autonomous vehicle future where the driver could seemingly become a supervising passenger, Ford Motor Company and other carmakers are trending carefully to test the likelihood of deeper electronic controls. However, as enticing the prospect of self-piloted vehicles have been in futuristic movies and stories, real life presents the human obstacle still wisely questioning the intervention of this technology. While Ford Traffic Jam Assist and enhanced active park assist largely preserves the motorist’s control, we’ll inquire where each small step in driving automation will lead to the ultimate removal of the steering wheel.
Information and photo source: Ford Motor Company