24
Jul
07

Braking Technology

Ford is researching and applying active safety measures in production vehicles and concepts designed with the intention to prevent some accidents from occurring. One of these technologies, Ford’s exclusive Roll Stability Control™, is already on more than one-half million Ford Motor Company SUVs since 2005. Unlike any other system in the world, Ford’s patented Roll Stability Control features roll-rate sensing and stability enhancing capability – offering assistance to the driver in maintaining vehicle control during extreme maneuvers. Ford also announced that the 2006 15-passenger E-Series wagon will feature the technology.

Lane Departure Warning, and Collision Mitigation by Braking are the latest safety technologies.

Ford’s Lane Departure Warning System is a technology in development that could help prevent a driver from unintentionally leaving his lane.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Ford’s Lane Departure Warning is a mechanized vision system designed to recognize lane markings and a vehicle’s lateral position to those markings. It can provide a visual, audible and/or haptic (vibrating) warning to the driver if the vehicle departs from a distinguishable travel lane without activation of the appropriate turn signal. In the concept car, a right lane departure triggers a vibration to the right side of the seat; a left lane departure spurs vibration of the left side of the seat.

In Lane Departure Warning, vehicle position is evaluated by a camera system mounted behind the windshield that measures the lateral distance from the camera’s center line to the left and right lane markings. The system works during the day or at night while headlights are in use. Naturally, the system does not warn the driver if the turn signals are used before changing lanes. The system is still under development for conditions without clear lane markings and overall system reliability.

Ford’s Collision Mitigation by Braking system is a technology in development that could help reduce speed in a frontal collision.

Collision Mitigation by Braking (CMbB)
Ford Motor Company’s Research and Advanced Engineering group, in cooperation with researchers at the Volvo Safety Center, developed Mercury Meta One’s Collision Mitigation by Braking or CMbB system to demonstrate how crash severity can be reduced. The system uses sensors that gauge an impending frontal collision and amplify the driver’s braking and then automatically apply additional brake pressure to further reduce the vehicle’s speed at impact.

Depending on relative speed and other factors, every mile per hour that a vehicle is slowed before impact reduces the energy of a crash.

CMbB applies automatic braking when it determines with certainty that a collision with another vehicle is unavoidable in both high and low speed situations. Importantly, the function assumes the driver has ultimate authority, and it will not interfere with any potential evasive maneuver initiated by the driver.

Ford’s CMbB pre-crash sensors consist of a camera and radar to sense vehicles on the road ahead and an electronic control unit (ECU), which determines whether a collision is imminent based on the position, speed and direction of other vehicles. Using estimates of collision threat and driver intent, the CMbB system provides driver warning and enhanced brake control when needed. Depending on speed and road factors, the braking can automatically reduce vehicle speed by five miles per hour or more before an impact. The radar and camera systems are under development so that the system works reliably in heavy rain, fog and other adverse driving conditions.

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