See It, Hear It, Feel It: Ford Seeks Most Effective Driver Warnings for Active Safety Technology.
-- Ford researchers commit VIRTTEX VIRTTEX Virtual Test Track Experiment (Ford Motor Company) advanced driving simulator Driving Simulators are used for entertainment as well as in training of driver's education courses taught in educational institutions and private businesses. They are also used for research purposes in the area of human factors and medical research, to monitor driver behavior, to study drivers' responses to various active safety systems and warnings
-- Research centers on audible, visual and tactile warnings
-- Customer preference drives active technologies such as Ford's new Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring
-- Collision Mitigation by Braking is expected to be an important safety development in the next five years
DEARBORN, Mich., April 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Researchers at Ford's advanced driving simulator, Virtual Test Track Experiment (VIRTTEX), are devoting much of 2008 to study how active safety technologies in vehicles should alert drivers of potentially dangerous driving incidents.
Ford also conducted customer driving clinics to test warning systems for its new backup system Noun 1. backup system - a computer system for making backups
ADP system, ADPS, automatic data processing system, computer system, computing system - a system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage , the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring warning system, which alerts drivers backing out of a parking space when traffic is approaching from the sides. The system will debut early next year and has three warnings - a flashing red light on the side mirror, an audible alert and a written warning on the instrument panel's message center. The system makes its debut in early 2009.
"New technologies such as radar, cameras, lasers and GPS will enable us to offer more safety and convenience features in the future," said Jeff Rupp, manager, Active Safety, Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford's Research and Innovation Center. "A key is identifying the kinds of warnings that drivers will find both effective and easy to understand."
This year, VIRTTEX, which debuted in 2001 as the first full-motion driving simulator in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. , is being devoted to studying and developing active safety warning systems. Ford already has studied a number of warnings by leveraging its global active safety expertise in North America and Europe.
For example, Ford recently used VIRTTEX to examine driver preferences and reaction times with advanced early-warning systems such as Forward Collision Warning Some modern vehicles have forward collision warning (FCW, FCWS) systems, also known as front collision warning systems, collision warning systems (CWS) and rear end collision warning systems. , a radar based system designed to help avoid or mitigate the effect of rear end collisions. The study concluded that certain warning systems may elicit a faster reaction time for distracted drivers.
Ford continues to research numerous types of warnings - including audible, visual and tactile or vibrating vibrating,
v using quivering hand motions made across the client's body for therapeutic purposes. warnings - and whether they are most effective alone or in combinations. The work will help determine how soon before a possible incident warnings should be used, how intense they need to be, and specific patterns of the warnings. Research to date has shown drivers respond more quickly to certain audible alerts that are more intense, thus more authoritative. Early research also shows some preference for a combination of warnings -- audio alerts backed up by visual warning reinforcement.
Ford also is studying the optimal moment to warn a driver in a potentially dangerous situation. Initial studies show early warnings can be useful for distracted drivers, but can frustrate attentive drivers by warning of dangers they've already anticipated.
More safety, faster
Ford is developing active technologies that ultimately may evolve into systems that warn drivers of potentially unsafe conditions and, if they do not act, automatically intervene to help avoid accidents. Ford leading active safety technologies and research include:
-- AdvanceTrac with RSC: Unlike the competition, this Ford-exclusive system uses two gyroscopic sensors - one to detect, measure and help counter yaw (or side-to-side skidding), and an additional roll rate sensor to accurately measure the vehicle's roll motion. If a significant roll angle is detected, the system applies additional countermeasures to enhance vehicle rollover resistance. Ford has moved to standardize this technology on most crossovers, SUVs and pickups by the end of 2008. It will be added as standard equipment to the 2009 Ford Flex, Escape Hybrid and F-150. -- Collision Mitigation with Braking: Ford believes this will be an important safety advance in the next five years. Co-developed by scientists at Ford's research centers in the U.S. and Europe, the system uses forward-looking radar to gauge an impending frontal crash. If a potential collision is detected, a warning is given via audio and visual alerts. Then, the system augments the driver's braking by automatically supplying additional brake pressure to further reduce the vehicle's speed. -- Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership: Ford also is involved in the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership team of government and industry leaders studying active safety technologies. As part of the effort, Ford is building a "smart" intersection on its engineering campus to study how best safety technologies can be integrated with intelligent infrastructures. The team also is studying vehicle-to-vehicle active technologies that will allow cars to "talk" to each other to better identify potentially unsafe conditions. How much control should drivers have?
Despite much attention on "driverless" cars, Ford researchers believe drivers want to retain control of their driving experience. Ford's active safety technologies are being developed to both help warn drivers of possible accidents and, if necessary, to intervene.
"The driver should always be in control," says Dr. Priya Prasad Prasāda (Sanskrit: प्रसाद), prasād/prashad (Hindi), Prasāda in (Kannada), prasādam (Tamil), or prasadam , Ford Technical Fellow for Safety. "If the driver is taking some type of evasive action Noun 1. evasive action - an action aimed at evading an opponent
evasion - the act of physically escaping from something (an opponent or a pursuer or an unpleasant situation) by some adroit maneuver , for instance if they want to accelerate, this system is not going to override. But if the driver is not taking sufficient braking action Braking action in aviation is a description of how easily an aircraft can stop after landing on a runway. Either pilots or airport management can report the braking action. and the system detects an imminent threat Imminent threat is a standard criterion in international law, developed by Daniel Webster, for when the need for action is "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation. of accident or collision, then it will begin decelerating the vehicle."
"While drivers welcome the information and warnings provided by these types of systems, they remain very sensitive about not wanting to lose control of their vehicle," said Rupp. "We want to first warn them, but if a driver does not respond quickly enough and an accident appears unavoidable, these technologies can intervene."
CONTACT: Wes Sherwood, Ford, +1-313-390-5660, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.ford.com/