New pedestrian detection technology to make night driving less stressful
Are you afraid of the dark? More importantly are you afraid of driving in the dark? If so Ford has developed the perfect solution.
Ford is introducing new technology designed to detect pedestrians at night will apply the brakes if there is a chance of an accident.
In a poll conducted by Ford, the findings revealed that drivers feared night blindness and hitting someone or something while driving in the dark.
Thousands of people were surveyed across Europe with 81 percent admitting to being afraid of driving at night. That figure rose to 87 percent in female drivers.
Over half said poor night vision was a source of their stress and over one-third worried about being involved in an accident.
One in five people highlighted that hitting a pedestrian was their biggest fear.
This technology developed by Ford could ease the worries for many drivers across the globe.
Teams of developers of the technology worked with life-size dummies sending them into the path of oncoming cars at night on closed tracks. It has also been tested on public roads in Amsterdam and Paris.
Here is the technical part, the Pedestrian Detection processes information taken from a radar located on the bumper and windshield mounted cameras.
The database in the system detects ‘pedestrian shapes’ distinguishing people from objects like road signs.
The system delivers over 30 snapshots per seconds, allowing the system to pick out pedestrians in low light and roads illuminated by only headlights.
When it detects a potential collision audio and visual warnings will alert the driver, however, if the driver fails to respond the brakes are automatically engaged.
Later in 2017, an even more advanced version of this technology will be introduced on the next generation Fiesta.
In the meantime, here are a few top tips for driving at night:
• Ensure windows and mirrors are clean and free of ice and condensation
• Clean all exterior lights and check they work, keep spare bulbs in the car
• On unlit roads, put headlights on full beam and dip them on seeing oncoming vehicles
• Don’t drive tired or for more than two hours without a break
• Schedule regular optician appointments to check your vision