Ford to debut collision avoidance tech

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. will later this year unveil a new driver-assist feature that could help prevent pedestrian collisions.

Called Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, the feature uses a radar on the bumper and a camera on the windshield to scan the roadway up to 200 meters ahead and warn the driver if a collision is imminent. The technology can automatically brake the car if the driver isn't paying attention, a first for Ford.

It will debut on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe on sale later this year, and will make its North American debut next year, although Ford won't say what vehicle it will be on.

"It's a global technology, and ultimately we'll see it across a significant portion of our portfolio," Scott Lindstrom, Ford manager, driver assist technologies, said in an interview.

Today, Ford has forward collision warning that's used to detect potential vehicle collisions, although the current technology can't automatically brake for you.

"This technology adds to the already impressive list of driver-assist technologies Ford customers benefit from today," Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development, said in a statement.

Lindstrom said Ford has been developing the technology for years, since the launch of its forward collision detection on the 2010 Taurus. He said Ford tested the new feature on roads across the globe.

"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," he said in a statement. "We covered more than 300,000 miles on three continents that included a wide range of settings and situations."

Other automakers last month showed similar technology on Belle Isle at a conference about connected cars. Honda Motor Co. used cameras and sensors on an Acura to detect animals, pedestrians and bicyclists, and General Motors Co. used technology on a Chevrolet Cruze to avoid a simulated skateboarder.

(313) 222-2401