Ford and World Safety Leaders Work to Launch Intelligent Vehicles Quicker, More Affordably



Published:

DEARBORN, Mich., June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is hosting Europe's most influential safety leader to discuss how to bring intelligent vehicle technology to global customers quicker and more affordably. Ford is leading research and working with automakers and safety leaders globally on a standardized platform for the advanced wireless systems that can allow vehicles to "talk" to each other to reduce crashes and congestion.

Dr. Andre Seeck, president and chairman of the board of directors, European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), will tour Ford's Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn and participate in discussions centered on intelligent vehicle research and other advanced safety technologies the company plans to introduce globally.

"Intelligent vehicle technology has the potential to significantly reduce crashes. We want to work with Ford and others who are leading development of this technology to harmonize the underlying standards and requirements on a global level," said Seeck.

Ford researchers are developing advanced crash avoidance systems that use GPS technologies and advanced Wi-Fi® signals, or dedicated short-range communications, on a secured channel allocated by the Federal Communications Commission to create intelligent vehicles that communicate with each other in traffic and help drivers avoid or mitigate crashes.

In addition to serving as president of Euro NCAP, Seeck also is head of Vehicle Technology with the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt).

"Dr. Seeck has strong influence on safety globally, so we are excited to work with him on this next frontier of safety," said Jim Vondale, director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. "Ford has been a pioneer in safety technology for many decades. Now we are leading the development of crash avoidance technologies, including our intelligent vehicle research, to help drivers avoid crashes in the first place."

Ford led the industry in developing new safety technologies, including seat belts in the 1950s, airbags in the 1980s and today with the industry's first rear inflatable safety belts to help protect occupants in crashes.

Speaking the same language

Ford is partnering with other automakers and governments globally to create a common language that ensures all vehicles can talk to each other based on a common communication standard. Ford and other global vehicle manufacturers need harmonized standards in order to support their global vehicle platforms and to develop reliable, cost-effective wireless systems. 

In the U.S., this public-private partnership will include the world's first government-sponsored driving clinics beginning in summer 2011, for which the company will contribute two prototype Ford Taurus sedans. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Programs Office will sponsor the research conducted by a coalition of automakers organized by the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP), which is a joint research group founded by Ford and General Motors. The partnership is working to develop inter-operability standards in advance of completing the research phase in 2013.

In Germany, Ford is collaborating on a wireless research project with other automakers and the government in an effort to address congestion-related traffic safety issues. The Safe and Intelligent Mobility-Test Field Germany research project, which runs through 2012, is a 400-vehicle field test to evaluate feasibility and scalability of wireless systems in the real world.

"We must develop these ITS standards now while the technology is being researched and developed or we will end up with a variety of standards and vehicles that cannot talk to each other from region to region," Vondale said. "Failure to develop globally harmonized standards would delay deployment, decrease reliability and unnecessarily increase costs."

Vondale has been appointed by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to represent automakers on the ITS Program Advisory Committee. Mike Shulman, technical leader, Ford Research and Innovation, leads the government-industry technical partnership as program manager for CAMP.

Ford hits the gas on vehicle communications

After a decade of research, Ford announced earlier this year an accelerated development of its intelligent vehicle work, doubling its research investment and convening a new 20-member task force – consisting of company planners, engineers and scientists from around the world with expertise in safety, eco-mobility, infotainment and driver conveniences. The goal is to define the next 10 years of safety, convenience and driver assistance, and strengthen the company's position as the global industry leader in connected vehicle technology.

"While there are challenges ahead, the foundation of these smarter vehicles is advanced versions of technologies that are pervasive – Wi-Fi and crash avoidance systems that Ford has pioneered in mainstream vehicles today," said Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. "Intelligent vehicles could help warn drivers of numerous potential dangers such as a car running a red light but blocked from the view of a driver properly entering the intersection."

How it works

The Wi-Fi-based radio system allows full-range, 360-degree detection of potentially dangerous situations, such as when a driver's vision is obstructed.

For example, drivers could be alerted if their vehicle is on path to collide with another vehicle at an intersection, when a vehicle ahead stops or slows suddenly or when a traffic pattern changes on a busy highway. The systems also could warn drivers if there is a risk of collision when changing lanes, approaching a stationary or parked vehicle, or if another driver loses control.

The possibility of reduced congestion

By reducing crashes, intelligent vehicles could ease traffic delays, which would save drivers both time and fuel costs. Congestion also could be avoided through a network of intelligent vehicles and infrastructure that would process real-time traffic and road information and allow drivers to choose less congested routes.

According to Texas Transportation Institute's (TTI) 2010 Urban Mobility Report, traffic congestion continues to worsen in American cities of all sizes, annually wasting nearly 3.9 billion gallons of fuel in 2009 and costing the average Los Angeles commuter $1,464. Leading factors in traffic delays are caused by accidents, breakdowns and road debris, TTI maintains.

"We are not far from the day when vehicles will operate like mobile devices with four wheels, constantly exchanging information and communicating with our environment to do things like shorten commute times, improve fuel economy and generally help us more easily navigate life on the road," said Mascarenas. "A smart network of intelligent vehicles has the potential to benefit drivers in many ways."

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com .

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Detroit Tigers Announce Partnership With Uber

With only two days until Tigers Opening Day at Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers today announced a partnership with mobile ridesharing company Uber, naming them the team’s official ride-sharing company. This season, there will be a dedicated pick-up and drop-off zone for fans choosing to Uber to and from Comerica Park, located on the northbound side of the I-75 service drive, between John R and Brush Street.

Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford Health System Partner on Training, Rehab, and Sports Medicine Complex  

The Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford Health System today announced plans to build a new 100,000-square-foot training, rehabilitation, and sports medicine complex in Detroit’s New Center area. The site is bordered by Amsterdam Street, Second and Third Avenues, and a set of railroad tracks to the north. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

Ford Invests $1B in Argo AI, Works Towards Leading Autonomous Vehicle Market

Dearborn-based automaker Ford Motor Co. today announced a $1 billion investment in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI over the next five years, to develop a virtual driver system for the autonomous vehicle Ford has planned for 2021, and for potential licensing opportunities.

Meridian Winter Blast Set to Coincide With North American International Auto Show

The thirteenth annual Meridian Winter Blast, presented by Quicken Loans, has been moved up several weeks and is now scheduled to coincide with the final weekend of the North American International Auto Show — January 20-22.

Detroit Pistons to Move to Downtown in 2017, will Generate Additional $596.2M in Economic Impact

Agreements under which the Pistons will move to downtown Detroit and begin playing next season at the new Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit, a $1.2 billion sports and entertainment development, have been announced today.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. William Davidson Foundation Makes $1.7 Million Donation to the Belle Isle Aquarium
    The Belle Isle Conservancy today announced that the William Davidson Foundation in Troy has...
  2. Restoration of Old Wayne County Building in Downtown Detroit Gets $7M Makeover
    The ownership group of The Old Wayne County Building, located at 600 Randolph Street in downtown...
  3. Retail Tenants Announced For Bedrock’s Shinola Hotel in Downtown Detroit
    Bedrock has announced four retail tenants that are coming to the 1400 Woodward block in Detroit,...
  4. Ford Brings 600 Employees to Wagner Place in Downtown West Dearborn, Announces Commercial Tenants
    Ford Motor Co. today announced it has started moving 600 employees into Wagner Place along...
  5. $136M Mixed-use Development Slated for Detroit’s East Riverfront District
    City Growth Partners in Detroit today announced it would construct a $136-million mixed-use...
  6. Delta Offers Two Detroit Metro Flights With New A220-100 Aircraft, Service Launches in 2019
    Delta Air Lines Inc. today announced it will begin offering domestic business routes on the new...