Ford revealed on Friday the new night driving aid technology of its 2018 Mustang and F-150 that have the capability to automatically put the vehicles on brake upon detection of pedestrians in a dark environment.
This “Pedestrian Detection” technology will be first available on the European version of the Ford Fiesta. It will later on then be an option of the F-150 and 2018 Ford Mustang in the United States.
The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has tested the car system in the nighttime within the major cities in European countries. They have already tried this with dummies in enclosed roads.
Dan Jones, the Communications Manager for Ford, sent an email on Monday that this “Pedestrian Detection” technology works at approximately 50 mph at daytime.
This car system would need the radar and the camera to operate together. The camera can only “see” if the driver switches on the headlights for the radar to detect a person or an object that is blocking the vehicle.
The radar is located at the bumper while the camera is mounted on the car’s windshield, according to Jones. There should be an obstruction on the camera for the detection system to work correctly. The driver may also adjust the setting of the sensitivity level of the radar. When the alert sensitivity is put to high, warnings will be alerted frequently and the radar system may detect signs of obstructions earlier for the driver.
A database for the various samples of “pedestrian shapes” are built into the car’s system to make sure that it will not falsely activate the break system for objects like road signs or trees from afar.
Its camera registers thirty frames per second, which is actually more than the standard 24 fps used in filming most movies.
It is also capable of viewing pedestrian images even at low levels of lighting conditions, which are mainly lighted only by the car’s headlights.
James noted that a deer, however, may not be detected by this kind of system. The car’s new technology system was designed to detect people or pedestrian-looking shapes and has no capacity to detect an animal form.
The driver will be warned by the Pedestrian Detection system before it executes the car’s brake facilities. This is for the tested units of the Mustang and F-150, including the Ford Fiesta.
For some drivers, driving at night time may be stressful most especially in smaller cities and towns, where there are quite many pedestrians.
Gregor Allexi, Ford’s safety engineer in Europe, said that the Pedestrian Detection system was precisely designed to identify human forms who are already right in front of the car or even yet ahead on the road.
According to Ford, there are about 75% of vehicle collisions with pedestrians that happen at nighttime.
In 2016, Europe’s Road Safety Observatory had reported that almost half of the people killed on the roads happened at night.
There are both visual and audio warnings given to the driver. The vehicle will only automatically apply necessary breaks upon possible collision.
Nyctophobia is the fear of the dark. It may have been the kind of fear that was passed on to us by our caveman ancestors, which could probably be affecting most drivers while driving in the dark.