Ford has developed technology that is able to detect people in the road ahead and – if the driver does not respond to warning sounds and displays – automatically applies the brakes.
The new Pedestrian Detection system is even able to identify people that it predicts could stray from the pavement – and potentially into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Launching on the new Mondeo, Pedestrian Detection processes information collected from a windshield-mounted camera, and radar located in the bumper.
The system distinguishes people from typical roadside scenery and objects with the help of a database of “pedestrian shapes”.
Engineers tested the system – which operates at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) – on closed circuits, using rigs fitted with life-size dummies.
They also spent months testing and refining the system on roads around the world to prove system reliability under real world conditions.
“Pedestrians come in all shapes and sizes, and adopt an infinite number of postures,” said Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer, Ford of Europe. “We covered more than 500,000 kilometres to make sure that we tested Pedestrian Detection against the widest range of people and situations possible.”