Ford's Lane Keeping System.

Ford's Lane Keeping System.

DEARBORN, MI – Ford provided a tidbit about the upcoming second-generation Fusion’s safety systems, which will include the automaker’s Lane Keeping System (LKS). The vehicle is set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

Ford said it intends to roll out this system on a range of vehicles in the coming years. The new Escape will also feature this system.

LKS uses a digital camera mounted on the windshield (in front of the rearview mirror) that allows the Fusion to watch the road ahead to detect an unintentional lane departure. The Ford Lane Keeping System has three levels of assistance available to the driver depending on what is happening: Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert. The driver has to activate LKS.

Once the vehicle reaches a speed faster than 40 mph, and lane markers are clearly visible on the road, an icon that looks like a car between two lanes lights up green in the instrument cluster to indicate the system is enabled. LKS uses the vehicle’s electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), also used in the new Fusion, to provide a vibrating alert to the driver and then steer the car back into the lane if the driver doesn’t respond.

When the system detects the car is approaching the edge of the lane without a turn signal activated, the lane marker in the icon turns yellow and the steering wheel vibrates. If the driver doesn’t respond and continues to drift, the lane icon turns red and EPAS will nudge the steering and the vehicle back toward the center of the lane. If the car continues to drift, the vibration is added again along with the nudge. The driver can overcome assistance and vibration at any time by turning the steering wheel, accelerating, or braking.