Earlier in the week we wrote about a Samsung prototype safety truck that features four large screens on the back to give vehicles a clear view of the road ahead if they want to overtake. Now Ford has announced a technology that enables you to see around corners in order to help prevent collisions.
Installed in the front grille of the car, Ford’s Front Split View Camera offers a 180-degree view of traffic approaching which drivers would otherwise have to edge forwards to see. It’s available on the all-new S-MAX and Galaxy vehicles and features a telescopic jetwasher on the tiny camera (which is just 33mm wide) in order to keep the tiny lens clear and ensure clear visibility even at sunrise or sunset.
The technology is activated at the push of a button with the 1-megapixel camera displaying images on the vehicle’s 8-inch colour touchscreen (so you will have to look down at the screen presumably to check the road is clear ahead). Drivers can track road users that approach on either side and pass in front of the vehicle.
Says Ronny Hause, engineer, Driver Assistance Electronic Systems, Ford of Europe, whose team worked closely on the project with their US counterparts: “We have all been there and it’s not just blind junctions that can be stressful, sometimes an overhanging tree, or bushes can be the problem. For some, simply driving off their own driveways is a challenge. Much like rear-view cameras, Front Split View Camera is one of those technologies that people will soon wonder how they managed without.”
He adds: “From sunrise to sunset we tested the Front Split View Camera on all kinds of roads, congested urban streets and areas with a lot of cyclists and pedestrians. Tackling tunnels, narrow alleys and garages in all light conditions also meant we could ensure the technology worked well even when sunlight was shining directly into the camera.”
Further new driver assistance technologies offered for the all-new S-MAX and Galaxy include Intelligent Speed Limiter, which when activated scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits and avoid fines and Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection which will reduce the severity of some frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, or help drivers avoid some impacts altogether.
Also on board is glare-free Highbeam technology for the adaptive LED headlamps, which detects vehicles ahead and fades out light that could dazzle oncoming drivers, while retaining maximum illumination for other areas.
Data recorded by the European Road Safety Observatory SafetyNet project indicated that approximately 19 per cent of drivers involved in accidents at junctions experienced obstructions to view. And in the UK the Department of Transport said that in 2013, vision affected by external factors contributed to 11 per cent of all road accidents.
The all-new S-MAX and Galaxy are available to order now. Front Split View Camera also will be offered for the all-new Ford Edge upscale SUV, available in Europe later this year.
You can see how the technology works in the video below: