The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

2010 Ford Taurus to Offer Wider Range of Safety Features

January 21, 2009

DETROIT --- The all-new 2010 Ford Taurus includes a range of safety-related attributes, including passive and active safety features engineered to protect passengers, Ford said.

Features include Side Protection and Cabin Enhancement (SPACE) Architecture, comprising a hydro-formed cross-car beam embedded in the floor between the door frames. This offers additional strength in the side of the vehicle. In the event of a side impact, the beam helps divert crash forces away from the occupants. A strong roof cross member and side impact door beams work with the floor-mounted tube to further improve side impact protection.

The Personal Safety System is designed to reduce the risk of injury to the driver and front seat passenger in the event of a moderate to severe frontal collision. Sensors note right front occupant weight, safety belt usage, outboard seat belt tension and seating position to optimize air bag deployment force for occupant safety.

AdvanceTrac electronic stability control predicts the vehicle's intended path, using sensors to detect and measure over-steer and yaw, while monitoring vehicle speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When the system senses a loss of wheel traction, engine torque is reduced and braking is applied in conjunction with the standard Anti-lock Braking (ABS) system. The system also incorporates traction control to aid drivers when operating the vehicle on loose or slippery surfaces.

SOS Post-Crash Alert is an integrated system that automatically sounds the horn and activates the emergency flashers in the event of an air bag deployment.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for global product development, said: "Building on its reputation for safety leadership, we leveraged extensive use of computer-aided design and engineering technologies as well as digital pre-assembly modeling to deliver a high-quality, new Taurus a year ahead of schedule."

Adaptive Cruise Control allows the driver to set the vehicle cruising speed while using radar technology to monitor traffic traveling up to 600 feet ahead, automatically adjusting Taurus speed to help maintain a safe distance between vehicles. Adaptive Cruise Control also integrates Collision Warning with Brake Support, a new active safety feature.

The collision warning system uses a radar sensor to detect moving vehicles ahead and provides a visual "heads-up" warning signal transmitted across the base of the windshield and an audible warning when slower moving traffic is detected ahead. The system also pre-charges the brakes and engages an electronic brake assist to help the driver stop more quickly.

Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, a new Taurus feature, allows the driver to enter the car and start the engine by simply carrying the fob as he or she approaches and enters the vehicle. SecuriCode Keyless Entry Keypad enables vehicle access by unlocking the driver's door using a five-digit code on the new keypad system flush-mounted in the driver's side B-pillar.

MyKey allows fleet managers to activate a restricted driving mode. When enabled, MyKey features a Persistent Beltminder with Audio Mute until safety belts are buckled, an earlier low-fuel warning, and consistently engaged AdvanceTrac stability control, Blind Spot monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert and Forward Collision Warning. Additional programmability includes restrictions on audio volume, limiting top speed to 80 mph and speed chime warnings at 45, 55, or 65mph.

Auto High Beams/Rain-Sensing Wipers harness sensor technologies to switch headlights to high intensity when no other vehicles are detected, in a range of up to 500 feet for taillight detection and up to 2,000 feet for oncoming headlight detection. Rain-sensing wipers use an advanced optical sensor to detect the intensity of rain and/or snowfall to adjust wiper speed.

Easy Fuel Capless Fuel Filler System is a feature that self-seals without a traditional fuel cap.

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) consists of two multiple beam radar modules, one each per rear quarter panel. When an approaching vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone, an indicator alert provides warning to the driver in the corresponding side view mirror.

Cross Traffic Alert uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. This system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross-traffic appears within three car widths.

Ford SYNC is the in-vehicle voice-activated communications and entertainment system, with 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and GPS-based features including business search and call completion. SYNC connects to MP3 players, iPods, memory sticks and PDAs. SYNC's 911 Assist will place a call to a local emergency operator in the event of an air bag deployment incident. The latest version of SYNC can provide turn-by-turn route guidance and the ability to access content by personalized favorites such as region, subject matter or sports team.

Voice-Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Link uses an 8-inch screen to present a birds-eye-view map with 3D landmarks. The system responds to voice commands for destination programming and route selection. In addition, it provides enhanced route guidance features such as street name announcements and detailed freeway exit, turn and ramp position lane guidance. The screen can be personalized with up to 32 pictures, sized up to 1.5MB. The system also incorporates the SIRIUS Travel Link, offering availability of current weather and ski conditions, a five-day forecast, local fuel pricing by cost per gallon as well as brand, sports scores and movie listings.

The Taurus body structure has been optimized for strength and stiffness, Ford said, using ultra high-strength boron steel in the B-pillar for added side impact protection. The energy-absorbing front structure features octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and "shotgun" front structural members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

The new Taurus also includes dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, side impact air bags and Safety Canopy, a Ford protection system that features side curtain air bags that help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollover and side impact crashes.

The 2010 Ford Taurus will be built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant and will be available in dealer showrooms in the summer, the automaker said.



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