Ford Tests High-Tech “Brake Light” That Warns Drivers Following Behind
Ford moves a step forward in vehicle-to-vehicle communications and participated in a special test of a high-tech early warning “brake light” that can warn drivers following behind even if they are around a bend or behind other traffic. The tests took place in the Frankfurt region and involved 500 test drivers in 120 vehicles – including 20 Ford S-MAX models. They were led by engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen.
This experimental technology is called “Electronic Brake Light”. In emergency braking situations, the experimental “Electronic Brake Light” transmits a wireless signal to illuminate a dashboard light in cars following behind. The study found that the technology could enable drivers following behind to brake earlier and potentially mitigate or avoid a collision. It’s less useful on straight stretches of road where you can see an upcoming traffic jam well before you have to slow down, but when visibility’s limited due to bad weather, or on twisty roads where there could be stopped traffic just around the next bend, it gives drivers ample time to ease off the accelerator instead of having to suddenly slam on the brakes.
“Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications represent one of the next major advancements in vehicle safety,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. “Ford is committed to further real-world testing here and around the world with the goal of implementation in the foreseeable future.”
The technology is one of 20 potential future systems Ford tested as part of Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany, a four-year joint industry research project. Few further technologies also tested such as Public Traffic Management, which provides exact traffic prognosis based on comprehensive information; this includes identifying likely traffic scenarios and their impact at the point in the journey when they are encountered rather than at the point of departure.
In-car Internet Access, which, for example enables the driver to receive information about free parking spaces or check traffic hotspots by receiving up-to-date pictures from traffic cameras.
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