Ford talks about linking GPS data with in-car safety systems

A research project by Ford Motor Company and Auburn University shows that global positioning system (GPS) satellites that can “talk” to cars could help prevent serious accidents in the future.

The researchers have found potential for a GPS satellite to act as an early warning system that detects when a vehicle is about to lose control and communicate with the vehicle’s stability control systems and other safety features to prevent a rollover or other serious accident.

The project is part of Ford Motor Company’s $4 million investment in university research programs in 2009, including 16 safety projects.

The research team is investigating the use of combining GPS and inertial measurement units data to provide precise information on a vehicle’s motion. The data could be used to improve performance of a vehicle’s electronic stability control system, a computerized technology that improves the safety of a vehicle’s stability by detecting and minimizing skids.

The project’s goals include developing algorithms combining data from sensors in Ford vehicles with data from GPS receivers. This coordination of data has led to predictive models that can calculate a vehicle’s roll angle, sideslip and velocities under various driving conditions.

Source: Ford.

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