Ford Motor Company announced it will be launching Co-Pilot360, its most advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies, this fall in new passenger cars, SUVs and trucks up to F-150 in North America, starting on the new 2019 Ford Edge and Edge ST.
Co-Pilot360 will include standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system, lane keeping system, rear backup camera and auto high beam lighting.
“Though our vehicles today are safer than ever, drivers tell us they are still stressed about getting in a potential accident,” said Jim Farley, Ford president, Global Markets. “That’s one reason why we’re making these must-have technologies accessible to millions of customers each year.”
Most Advanced Standard Driver Assist Package
Ford states that its Co-Pilot360 is the most advanced suite of standard driver-assist technologies, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information system, lane keeping system, rear backup camera and auto high beam lighting.
Ford Co-Pilot360 starts with standard automatic emergency braking – called pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection – that can help drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians who might accidentally cross in front of the vehicle’s path. If a potential collision is detected, a warning flashes and an alert sounds, and if the driver’s response is not sufficient, the system can automatically apply the brakes to help minimize a frontal collision.
The technology addresses Ford research showing a growing trend of people worrying about hitting pedestrians – and will be standard on 91 percent of Ford vehicles in North America by 2020.
Blind spot information system, or BLIS, uses radar to identify a vehicle entering the blind spot and alerts the driver with an indicator light in the side-view mirror. Cross-traffic alert can warn drivers of traffic behind when slowly backing out of a parking spot or driveway.
Lane keeping system has three functions:
- The first can notify drivers through steering wheel vibration that they need to correct course when the system detects the vehicle drifting close to lane markings
- The second provides steering torque to steer back toward the center of the lane
- Third, a driver alert system continuously monitors driving pattern using a forward-looking camera and provides visual and audio warnings when the system estimates the driver’s vigilance level to be less than that of an attentive driver
Commercial customers can expect this technology in their vehicles too. By 2020, E-Series, F-650 and F-750 and even Ford’s F59 chassis will come with available automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, driver alert system and more.
A National Transportation Safety Board study shows having technologies such as AEB can help prevent and mitigate rear-end crashes, which can help customers lower their cost of ownership.
Testing and Trusting Technology
Ford will continue to introduce new driver-assist technologies. Next year, it plans to debut in North America and Asia Pacific automatic emergency braking for when drivers are in reverse.
The company also is investing $500 million the next five years to continue developing new driver-assist and safety technologies. Key areas of focus will be simplifying the technologies so they work as people expect – especially as driving controls become more automated.
Researchers test the user experience with many new technologies at Ford’s VIRTTEX driving simulator in Dearborn and run new systems through a battery simulations built from more than hundreds of thousands of miles of testing across the country. For example, engineers tested a recent suite of radar and camera technologies for more than 660,000 miles across the globe.
Ford says this work also will help people become more comfortable with the idea of autonomous vehicles.
“Many people question the idea of autonomous vehicles,” Farley said. “But those who use advanced driver-assist technologies today say they are more open to cars doing all of the driving in the future.”