As well as entering into the domain of the all-electric car, Ford are also looking to push boundaries in terms of technology on the outside of the car, with the firm testing a ‘brake light’ that warns drivers if a vehicle is braking ahead, even if it is round a corner.
The American manufacturer is looking into 20 potential future systems that could be incorporated into their cars in the years to come as part of the Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testified Germany (SimTD), a four-year joint industry research project.
The braking system works by the car ahead emitting a Wi-Fi signal to illuminate a dashboard light in the car following behind, even if it is around a corner. The new technology is hoped to enable drivers to brake earlier and avoid unforeseen collisions.
Altogether, the SimTD field tests have seen 500 test drivers in 120 vehicles clock around 41,000 hours and almost one million miles on public roads and on an enclosed track in Germany.
Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation, Paul Mascarenas, said: “Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications represent one of the next major advancements in vehicle safety. Ford is committed to further real-world testing here and around the world with the goal of implementation in the foreseeable future.”
Ford utilised its latest S-Max models to help test the potential future technologies, that included car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication; an obstacle warning system which alerts the driver to the presence, position and type of potentially hazardous objects in the road ahead, as well as a traffic sign assistant that keeps in contact with traffic management centres for up-to-date information.
It will be some time before we see any of this technology in our cars, if it makes it at all, but it is an exciting prospect to see such gadgets in cars featured on future Ford dealer forecourts.