Ford is introducing car-like technology that enables vans to detect people in the road and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings. This certainly will help on a global scale especially when it comes to the transport industry due to the amount of claims,insurance costs piling up and how cut throat the courier industry is today with more vans on the road than before it would be a welcome technology on all vans more so than one company offering it,No doubt in years to come it will be an ALL commercial vehicles.
This is already available in motor cars and works by radars strategically placed on the vehicle and it detects shapes from a data base of “pedestrian shapes” that enables the system to distinguish people from roadside scenery and objects such as trees and road signs. Now available for Transit and Transit Custom vans, Pedestrian Detection technology can even predict when people may stray from the pavement and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. It is the first time that the technology has been made available for commercial vehicles of this size.
“It only takes a split second for a delivery driver to check an address – but that can be just the moment when an unwary pedestrian steps into the street,” said Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer, Ford of Europe. “In cases like this, Pedestrian Detection technology can help to avoid an accident, or reduce its severity.”
Ford engineers have tested the system on closed circuits, using rigs fitted with life-size dummies. The development team also spent months testing and refining the system on roads in European cities packed with pedestrians such as Paris and Amsterdam to prove system reliability under real-world conditions, covering more than 10,000 kilometres of urban driving.
The emergency braking system – called Pre-Collision Assist – functions in a series of stages. If the system detects a pedestrian and determines that a collision has become imminent, the driver will first receive an audible alarm and visual warning in the instrument cluster.
Should the driver fail to respond, the system then shortens the time required to apply the brakes by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. If there is still no response from the driver, the brakes are applied automatically and the vehicle speed is reduced.
“Advanced technologies, like Pre-Collision Assist, that were billed as future technology only a couple of years ago are now starting to make a difference on UK roads by helping drivers to react fast to the unexpected, such as a pedestrian walking out in front of them,” said Luke Bosdet, spokesman for the AA. “For delivery and other business van drivers, this is a major advance – not only in helping to prevent accidents, but also protecting drivers from incidents that were not of their making and that would disrupt business.”