Ford extends the function of its adaptive cruise control on the 2017 Fusion models with stop and go technology for use in congested city traffic.
Helping drivers to overcome the stress and wasted time of sitting in congested traffic, Ford has now made a special version of its Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) function available with a new “stop-and-go” function for use in congestion.
The technology works in a similar way to ACC with a speed set which is automatically adjusted by the car to maintain a safe speed and distance from the vehicle in front but with the added ability to bring the car to a complete standstill in traffic that isn’t moving.
According to Ford, this semi-autonomous feature can automatically adjust the speed for safe travel, bringing the car to a full stop when traffic halts. If the car has to stop for more than three seconds, the driver can tap the resume button or accelerator and the car returns to its preset speed. This ensures that the driver is paying attention in the event of a long pause in traffic.
The radar and camera based system scans the road every 50 milliseconds with the software tracking the traffic flow and accelerating or braking the car as required. The car can automatically stop and restart as necessary.
According to one measurement of traffic flow in US cities during 2015, drivers in the country spent 6.9 billion hours stuck in traffic during 2014, which works out at an average of nearly an hour a week wasted. In such cities as Chicago and New York, the situation is significantly worse.
In these congested conditions, drivers of the new 2017 Ford Fusion, which is equipped with the ACC with Stop-and-go function can expose themselves to less stress.
Commenting on the need to test such technology in real conditions which are likely to be encountered by drivers in major cities, Ford’s Driver Assist Technology Manager, Scott Lindstrom said, “When testing this system, we travelled to cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, heading straight for the worst possible congestion.”
Attention to safety
With the driver yielding control to the vehicle in congestion, the need to present safe technology to US city streets was foremost in the plans of Ford and to achieve this, the ACC with Stop-And-Go was combined with other Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) on the vehicle to prevent collisions from happening.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is included as part of the ACC package and uses a combination of sensors and the same ACC cameras to detect potential collisions with other traffic or pedestrians. When detected, the car alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings and primes the brakes ready for use. If the driver doesn’t respond appropriately, the car applies full braking force in order to mitigate or even eliminate the collision.
This new technology is one of 20 driver assistance technologies that available in the 2017 Ford Fusion in the USA and will be added to a further three vehicles from Ford’s US range during the next two years.