DEARBORN, MI -- Ford unveiled plans to introduce a side mirror design on the 2009 Edge that minimizes blind spot risk.

The innovative safety feature will be standard equipment beginning this fall. The Blind Spot Mirror replaces traditional side view mirrors and features an integrated convex spotter mirror that provides an optimized view of the driver's blind spot. 

"Ford is committed to delivering innovative features that provide a better driving experience for the customer," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development. "The Blind Spot Mirror is the latest example of our strategy to move fast and to be industry leaders in enhancing the ownership experience."

Ford's Blind Sport Mirror is designed to improve drivers' visibility as they change lanes or parallel park. The technology will debut on the 2009 Edge later this year and eventually will be offered on several future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as standard equipment, Ford said.

The Blind Spot Mirror is a traditional side-view mirror designed with a secondary convex spotter in the top outer corner, which provides a view of the driver's blind spot. When traffic enters the driver's blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, alerting the driver of potential danger.

Ford's push to develop the Blind Spot Mirror and migrate it across its lineup comes as a result of careful customer research, said Kelly Kohlstrand, a member of Ford's advanced product marketing and technology planning team.

"We're committed to offering new features that address unmet customer needs," Kohlstrand said. "Customers told us that visibility is important to them and that they specifically desired a more effective outside rear-view mirror."

Early drive clinics conducted by Ford show that the Blind Spot Mirror is a feature that customers want and value. Nearly 76 percent of focus group clinic participants said the mirror improved their confidence while driving. In addition, the participants said the learning curve or adjustment to the using the Blind Spot Mirror was minimal, Ford said.

Unlike aftermarket offerings, the Blind Spot Mirror uses one continuous glass surface and is robust to the elements, Ford said. The factory-installed spotter mirror is specifically designed for the vehicle and provides an optimized field of view.