Ford's latest active safety measures include Collision Warning with Brake Support and Blind Spot Information with Cross-Traffic Alert, will be in production in 2009 on select Ford and Lincoln models.
Ford is enjoying the latest benefits of its ownership of Volvo, as it debuts its new Collision Warning with Brake Support system on select Ford and Lincoln vehicles for 2009. While not officially borrowed from the safety-conscious Swedish manufacturer, the system, as well as the upcoming Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and adaptive cruise control that are also being introduced on Ford products next year, has already appeared on Volvo models and was no doubt developed in conjunction with Ford’s captive brand.
Borrowed or not, Collision Warning with Brake Support is an impressive active safety feature. Using the radar that also informs the active cruise control of vehicles ahead, Collision Warning with Brake Support informs the driver with a visual and audible warning if a collision is imminent. The system can call the driver’s attention back to the road in case of a sudden lapse, which might just mean the difference between a violent rear-end crash or a swerve to safety. Collision Warning with Brake Support also pre-charges the braking system to get maximum braking power as quickly as possible. The system’s sensitivity can be adjusted to the reaction time of a particular driver, to limit the number of false alarms.
BLIS is also radar-based, and can detect objects close to the vehicle’s rear quarter panels. It’s able to inform the driver of vehicles in the car’s blind spot, and will sound a warning if you’re about to merge when it’s not safe. It also includes a Cross Traffic Alert system. By using the radar to detect objects up to 65 feet away, the system can warn of approaching cars or pedestrians when backing out of a blind parking spot.
Ford hasn’t offered any specific applications yet, but Collision Warning with Brake Support will likely be available on the Lincoln MKS in 2009, since that car is already equipped with the adaptive cruise control whose radar system it shares. Other Ford and Lincoln products will follow.