Ford Explorer New Lane Keeping Technology Can Help Detect Drowsy Drivers, Suggest Coffee Breaks

Ford Explorer New Lane Keeping Technology Can Help Detect Drowsy Drivers, Suggest Coffee Breaks

• Ford is introducing new lane keeping technologies, including a system that can help detect drowsy drivers, to help them stay alert and in their lane; system to launch in early 2012 on the Ford Explorer• The technology’s Driver Alert System monitors the vehicle’s lane position and can notify a driver of signs of inattentiveness with a coffee cup warning light that appears on the dashboard instrument cluster• More than 40 percent of Americans say they have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving, according to a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety {{more}}• The Lane Keeping Alert function warns the driver by vibrating the steering wheel and sounding a warning chime, while the Lane Keeping Aid function warns the driver by applying torque at the steering wheel to direct the vehicle back into the laneThe new Ford Explorer will come with a cup of coffee for customers who opt for an innovative new Lane Keeping System that can warn drivers if it detects they are getting too tired to drive.Ford will introduce in early 2012 an innovative Lane Keeping System with three unique features designed to help drivers stay in control behind the wheel, including a Driver Alert System that can notify drivers if it detects signs of drowsiness. In this case, a coffee cup light will appear on the dashboard instrument cluster to suggest the driver take a break.“The Explorer is loaded with new innovations, including this new lane keeping technology that helps drivers stay in control of their vehicle if they drift out of their lane or show signs of drowsiness,” says Raj Nair, vice president, Engineering, Ford Global Product Development.The system uses a small forward-facing camera mounted on the windshield behind the rearview mirror, and is able to identify lane markings on both sides of the vehicle. When the vehicle is on the move, the camera looks at the road ahead and predicts where the vehicle should be positioned relative to the lane markings. “Our engineering teams tested this technology for thousands of miles in many parts of the country to help ensure it performs on a wide range of roads with different lane markings,” said Michael Kane, vehicle engineering supervisor for Driver Assistance Technologies for Ford, who helped develop the technologies.