COLOGNE, GERMANY – Even the most attentive drivers have to blink. But by the time they have opened their eyes, Ford’s Active City Stop low-speed collision avoidance technology -- introduced in the new Ford Fiesta in Europe -- will have captured and processed 15 images of the road ahead in its search for potential hazards, the automaker said.
Active City Stop uses a sophisticated light detecting and ranging sensor to scan the road ahead 50 times every second – more than twice the speed of the movie industry standard frame rate – to help prevent collisions at speeds up to 15 km/h (9 mph), and help reduce the severity of impacts at speeds of up to 30 km/h (18 mph).
“Urban areas are breeding grounds for low-speed accidents caused by drivers failing to notice the car in front has stopped,” said Florian Schweter, new Fiesta Active City Stop development engineer at Ford of Europe. “High traffic volumes, lots of potential distractions and slow-moving, stop-start traffic mean Active City Stop can provide a much-needed extra eye on the road.”
Each year more than half-a-million people are injured in car crashes in cities in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain alone. Of these, approximately one in eight are hurt in rear-end collisions, the type that Active City Stop can reduce in severity or avoid altogether, Ford said.
Active City Stop constantly monitors the gap to vehicles in front, calculates the risk of hitting a stationary or slow-moving object, and pre-charges the new Fiesta’s brake system to deliver maximum braking response. If the driver does not respond -- either by braking or evasive steering -- the system simultaneously applies the brakes, reduces engine torque, and activates the rear hazard lights.
First launched on the new Focus and ordered by more than 70,000 European customers to date, Active City Stop is already available on C-MAX, Grand C-MAX and the new B-MAX. It received a Euro NCAP Advanced reward on Focus in 2011.
“Active City Stop is designed to offer additional security for Ford drivers and fellow road users,” said Schweter. “Automatic application of the brakes is a last-ditch response, and the system is carefully designed to minimize the potential for inappropriate application. We hope our customers will never need this feature, but we believe it gives city drivers in particular peace of mind to know it is there.”