Volvo Test Crash
Hot on the heels of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety accolades (five new Top Safety Pick awards
for a fleet total of 16), Ford Motor Company rolls out Collision Avoidance with Brake Support. The system mirrors functionality found on many upscale European luxury vehicles and will be optional in select Ford and Lincoln vehicles next year.
Using radar sensors to detect moving vehicles ahead, Collision Avoidance with Brake Support alerts the driver with a beep and a red warning light projected onto the windshield when it believes a collision is imminent. When the system is triggered in this way, the vehicle's brakes are pre-charged and a brake-assist feature is also engaged, which enables maximum brake force more rapidly from the time the driver touches the brake pedal. Ford does not mention a seatbelt pre-tensioning function, as is employed in pre-collision systems by manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz.
According to Ford's VP of engineering for global product development, Paul Mascarenas, "Ford will be the first to offer this technology on mainstream models that many families can afford." It is Ford's latest use of radar-based active safety technology rolling out in its '08 and '09 models. Previously, the automaker announced Adaptive Cruise Control that launched this year, as well as BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert, to debut in 2009.--Colin Mathews