Arriving in April 2015, the all-new Mondeo Trend and Titanium models will feature Ford's Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection designed to reduce the severity of and, in some cases, even eliminate frontal collisions involving pedestrians.
The Ford system which is new to the New Zealand market uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead, if the car detects a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian, it provides a warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, the system can automatically apply up to full braking force to help reduce the severity of or even eliminate some frontal collisions.
While Pedestrian Detection can help the driver avoid pedestrians at lower speeds, Pre-Collision Assist may also help drivers avoid rear end collisions with other vehicles at all speeds.
"This technology adds to the already impressive list of driver-assist technologies Ford customers benefit from today," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.
While the new system may be especially helpful in unexpected situations, it does not replace the driver and has limitations including night-time, low and harsh lighting conditions, vehicles moving in a different direction and certain weather conditions.
Other available Ford driver-assist technologies found on variants of the all-new Mondeo include a lane keeping aid with lane departure warning, blind spot Information system (BLIS®), adaptive cruise control, City Safe - collision avoidance, and active park assist; a semi-automatic parallel parking feature that now includes park out assist, perpendicular park assist and flank guard.
In daylight and clear weather conditions, the new technology may detect people in or near the road ahead, or pedestrians crossing the vehicle's path. If a pedestrian is detected in front of the car and a collision is imminent, the driver first receives an audible and visual warning.
If the driver fails to respond, the system improves brake responsiveness by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. If there is still no response from the driver, the brakes are applied automatically and vehicle speed is reduced.
The system processes information collected from a windshield-mounted camera and radar located near the bumper; it then checks the information against a database of pedestrian shapes to help distinguish people from typical roadside scenery and objects.
Ford engineers tested the system on closed test tracks using rigs fitted with manikins to replicate pedestrians. They then spent months refining the technology on roads around the world to test system reliability.
This real-world testing was an important part of the development, because pedestrians in an urban setting can present a wide range of potential situations," said Scott Lindstrom, Ford manager, Driver Assist Technologies.
"We covered more than 300,000 miles on three continents that included a wide range of settings and situations."
The all-new Mondeo is expected to arrive in New Zealand in April, with pricing and specification details to be released closer to launch.