Ford Focuses on Pedestrian Safety with New Pre-Collision Assist System

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New technology from Ford Motor Co. may help prevent front-end collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, the Dearborn-based automaker announced Thursday.

The Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system — which will debut as available technology on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe before rolling out to other Ford and Lincoln models — uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway for collision risks. If a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, the system will provide a warning to the driver, and can automatically apply the brake and reduce speed if the driver does not respond in time.

“This technology adds to the already impressive list of driver-assist technologies Ford customers benefit from today,” says Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of global product development.

The system processes information collected from a windshield-mounted camera and a radar device located near the bumper; it then checks the information against a database of pedestrian shapes to help distinguish people from typical roadside scenery and objects.

Ford engineers tested the system on closed test tracks using rigs fitted with manikins to replicate pedestrians. They then spent months refining the technology on roads around the world to test system reliability.

“This real-world testing was an important part of the development because pedestrians in an urban setting can present a wide range of potential situations,” says Scott Lindstrom, Ford manager of driver assist technologies. “We covered more than 300,000 miles on three continents that included a wide range of settings and situations.”

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