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Ford Advancing Crash Avoidance Technology

August 04, 2010

TRAVERSE CITY, MI - Ford Motor Co.'s researchers are developing advanced crash avoidance systems that use wireless and GPS technologies to help vehicles communicate with each other in traffic and help drivers avoid or mitigate accidents. 

Ford's Automatic Braking Intersection Collision Avoidance System (ABICAS), which is under development, uses radio-based wireless sensors, GPS and navigation information to detect the relative location of other radio-equipped test vehicles. The system is being designed to warn drivers of imminent side-impact collisions and to automatically activate the brakes if necessary to avoid or minimize the damage caused by such collisions. 

ABICAS is enabled by wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and works in conjunction with radar- and camera-based driver assist features, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, which are available on many Ford vehicles. 

While radar and camera sensors can detect other vehicles ahead and behind a vehicle, radio-based wireless sensors give vehicles a 360-degree "view." Information from these various sensors is combined with engineering algorithms to ensure the validity of an imminent collision before automatically activating the vehicle's brakes -- all of which happens in a split second. 

When a vehicle is equipped with a dedicated short-range wireless radio, it can communicate with similarly equipped vehicles, and use the shared information in concert with its safety systems. 

"By leveraging wireless technology, Ford is developing tomorrow's crash avoidance systems today," said Jim Vondale, director of the Ford Automotive Safety Office. "Thanks to research projects like ABICAS, tomorrow's vehicles will one day be able to talk to each other to avoid accidents."       

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