Ford used to advertise itself “Ford has a better idea.” Only time will tell if Ford’s ADAS ideas are better when they increase creativity and technology to protect drivers with heart problems, pedestrians, and prevent accidents. The technology Ford developed includes a heart rate monitor seat and Pre-Collision Assist coming to the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe.
Heart Attack Monitor Seat
Experts from Ford’s European Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany and Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University worked on the Ford heart monitor seat that has special embedded sensors that detect electrical impulses generated by the heart. The heart data is combined with camera observations.
If the seat detects a heart problem and or camera detects slumping, the system engages safety measures if heart attack occurs, the vehicle’s self driving module kicks in to stop in a safe location and avoid an imminent collision. It could also be program to e-call for help.
A three-year European Union project found drivers suffering from heart diseases were 23 per cent more likely to be involved in a road accident.
Drivers who suffered from angina were 52 per cent more likely to be in a crash, the Impaired Motorists, Methods of Roadside Testing and Assessment for Licensing project found.
Ford said 30 per cent of Europe’s population would be over 65 by 2050. The heart detecting seat will most likely not go into production until 2020 or later.
Pre-Collision and Pedestrian Detection
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses radar and camera technology to scan the roadway ahead. If a collision risk with a car or pedestrian is detected, the driver gets a warning. If the driver does not respond in time, the system can automatically brake.
The system processes information collected from a windshield-mounted camera and radar located near the bumper. It checks the information against a database of pedestrian shapes to tell people from typical roadside scenery and objects.
Ford engineers tested the system on closed test tracks using rigs fitted with mannequins to replicate pedestrians. They then spent months refining the technology on roads around the world to test system reliability.
Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – debuts on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe
Other available Ford driver-assist technologies include lane-keeping system with lane-keeping aid, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake support and active park assist.