Ford is introducing a new safety technology that the company says will reduces accidents that occur when drivers take corners too fast while behind the wheel of trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
Dubbed "Curve Control," the technology will reduce engine torque and apply the brakes to slow vehicle speed by up to 10 mph in one second's time when the vehicle senses that the driver has entered a curve too quickly.
The system will be standard on the upcoming 2011 Ford Explorer, and by 2015, it will be available on 90 percent of the company's crossovers, trucks, vans, and SUVs.
Ford claims that 50,000 accidents a year are due to drivers entering corners at too high a rate of speed, and that's not surprising, especially given the higher center of gravity on SUVs and crossovers, which make up a large percent of the nation's vehicle fleet.
The system will work by comparing how fast the vehicle is turning to how hard the driver is working to turn it. If the vehicle isn't turning fast enough--a condition also known as "pushing" or "understeering"--the system will kick in and work to slow the vehicle, applying a precise amount of braking force to each wheel individually, if necessary.
There similarities to the antiskid and traction-control systems that already exist, and Curve Control will work with them to its job, according to Ford.
Safety systems keep getting more advanced and active, and if Curve Control works as advertised, expect to see similar systems appear on cars and trucks built by other manufacturers.