Ford Motor Company’s researchers are developing advanced crash avoidance systems that use wireless and GPS technologies to help vehicles communicate with each other in traffic and help drivers avoid or mitigate accidents.
Ford’s vehicle-to-vehicle research builds on knowledge gained from its Smart Intersection project, focused on wireless communications between vehicles and intersection infrastructure.
Ford’s Automatic Braking Intersection Collision Avoidance System (ABICAS), which is under development, uses radio-based wireless sensors, GPS and navigation information to detect the relative location of other radio-equipped test vehicles.
The system is being designed to warn drivers of imminent side-impact collisions and automatically activate the brakes if necessary to avoid or minimize the damage caused by such collisions.
ABICAS is enabled by wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and works in conjunction with radar- and camera-based driver assist features, such as adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, which are available on many Ford vehicles.
While radar and camera sensors can detect other vehicles ahead and behind a vehicle, radio-based wireless sensors give vehicles a 360-degree “view.” Information from these various sensors is combined with engineering algorithms to ensure the validity of an imminent collision before automatically activating the vehicle’s brakes – all of which happens in a split second.
When a vehicle is equipped with a dedicated short-range wireless radio, it can communicate with similarly equipped vehicles, and use the shared information in concert with its safety systems.
In Germany, Ford is collaborating on a wireless research project with other automakers and the government in an effort to address congestion-related traffic safety issues.
The Safe and Intelligent Mobility—Test Field Germany research project, which runs through 2012, is a 400-vehicle field-test to evaluate feasibility and scalability of wireless systems in the real world. For the project, 100 drivers actively collect data by completing driving tasks and 300 drivers passively collect data by driving wherever they would normally go.
This project is taking into consideration hazard and collision warnings, the delivery of real-time traffic information such as congestion, construction areas, detour routes, and Internet-enabled location-based services.