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Ford Traffic Jam Assist to be added to driver aids

David Ludlow
26 Jun 2012
Ford Traffic Jam Assist
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Also improves automated parking to include perpendicular

One of the main reasons for traffic jams is people driving too close to the car behind, so that when the brake too hard it has a knock-on effect all the way down the queue. Ford is working on a solution to the problem with Traffic Jam Assist.

In development now and pencilled in for a launch somewhere between 2017 and 2025, Traffic Jam Assist is designed to use driver aids on the car to reduce jams, but make driving in the unavoidable ones stress free.

It's designed to use radar and camera technology to keep pace with other vehicles and use automated steering controls to keep the car in the current lane.

“Drivers spend more than 30 per cent of their time in heavy traffic,” said Joseph Urhahne, engineer, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Traffic Jam Assist could help make travelling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by using Ford technology to keep pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion.”

According to Ford, independent research has shown that when 25 per cent of cars on a road are equipped with technology to automatically follow the car ahead, journey times can be reduced by up to 37.5 per cent and delays reduced by 20 per cent.

Better parking

For has also announced that it's developing its Active Park Assist technology and adding to automatic perpendicular parking, in addition to the current technology with automatic parallel parking.

The new system will use ultrasonic sensors to identify a suitable space by width rather than length, then use the car's Electronic Power Assisted Steering system to manoeuvre the car into the space. Drivers may be prompted to edge the car forwards and backwards if the car can't squeeze into the space the first time.

“The key is that we already have the technologies that we need to make Active Park Assist with Perpendicular Parking Functionality a reality for Ford customers,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, supervisor, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford of Europe. “The system benefits customers and other road users with its speed and accuracy. Straighter, neater parking means more space for all.”

No launch date for the updated parking technology has been announced yet.

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