By Knowlton Thomas
In 2012, cars will get a whole lot safer. Well, Fords will anyway. With driver fatigue the cause of hundreds of deaths on roads in Canada every year, Ford is introducing new technology to combat human weaknesses. Called the Lane Keeping System, Ford vehicles will help drivers stay alert and in control while driving like never before.
Included in the system are three features: The Driver Alert System, which monitors the vehicle’s lane position and can notify a driver of signs of inattentiveness; the Lane Keeping Alert function, which warns the driver via steering wheel vibrations and sounds; and the Lane Keeping Aid, which can actually apply steering wheel tortue to direct the vehicle back into its lane.
The technology is possible through a forward-facing camera on the windshield, located behind the rearview mirror, which can identify lane markings.
According to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, driver fatigue results in 20 fatalities and 690 injuries in B.C. each year. Mark Yakabuski, vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that “over 26 per cent of all fatal injury crashes involve fatigue.” Experts say fatigue has the same effect on drivers as alcohol in that it slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment, and increases the risk of crashes. And according to CTV.ca, studies suggest that a person who goes without sleep for 17 hours straight will suffer from a level of impairment that is equal to having a blood-alcohol level of .05 per cent.
“The Explorer is loaded with new innovations, including this new lane keeping technology that helps drivers stay in control of their vehicle if they drift out of their lane or show signs of drowsiness,” says Raj Nair, vice president, Engineering, Ford Global Product Development.
“Our engineering teams tested this technology for thousands of miles in many parts of the country to help ensure it performs on a wide range of roads with different lane markings,” said Michael Kane, vehicle engineering supervisor for Driver Assistance Technologies for Ford, who helped develop the technologies.
See it in action below or watch the YouTube video here.
The Lane Keeping System features settings to adjust to each driver’s needs with a settings memory that restores preferences upon activation, and the system informs the driver when it is having difficulty identifying lane markings due to vehicle speed, weather, or terrain.
Knowlton is the Associate Editor of Techvibes Media. He has vested interests in business and financial subject matter, as well as technology and environmental affairs.
Reposted from Techvibes Media.
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