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Ford Developing Lane Departure Warning System

January 04, 2005

DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Company is developing safety technologies that warn the driver when a vehicle wanders from its travel lane and even applies the brakes if an accident is imminent. These technologies are featured on the Meta One. Ford's Lane Departure Warning is a mechanized vision system designed to recognize lane markings and a vehicle's lateral position relative to those markings. It can provide a visual, audible, and/or haptic (vibrating) warning to the driver if the vehicle departs from a distinguishable lane without activation of the appropriate turn signal. The Research and Advanced Engineering group of Ford Motor Company, in cooperation with researchers at the Volvo Safety Center, developed Collision Mitigation by Braking or CMbB system fitted to the Meta One concept to demonstrate how crash severity can be reduced. Sensors are used to gauge the likelihood of an impending frontal collision. If the driver fails to react to a situation the system determines will result in a collision, the system applies the brakes. This will significantly reduce the impact speed and crash energy. If the driver reacts with full braking, CMbB provides enhanced system response that quickly initiates full ABS braking. The system assumes the driver has ultimate authority; it will not interfere with any potential evasive maneuver the driver initiates. The system functions in high-speed and low-speed situations. Every mile per hour that a vehicle is slowed before impact reduces the energy of a crash, which in turn, can potentially reduce possible injuries to drivers and passengers. Ford's CMbB utilizes a camera and radar to sense vehicles on the road ahead and an on-board computer, which determines whether a collision is imminent based on the position, speed, and direction of other vehicles. The CMbB system, based on its estimates of collision threat and driver intent, provides driver warning and enhanced brake control when needed. Depending on speed and road factors, the automatic braking can reduce vehicle speed before contact by five miles per hour or more. 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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