You’ve heard of cars that park themselves, as well as the Google car that can drive on its own, but have heard of a car able to steer itself to avoid obstacles? Braking for obstacles is nothing new, but the new technology that Ford is testing in Europe not only brakes for obstacles, like pedestrians or other cars, it also steers the car out around an obstacle if the car doesn’t sense the driver’s reaction. Unbelievable? Well, just check out the video above to see it in action.
Ford’s Obstacle Avoidance System is currently being tested in Europe in order to be incorporated in Ford models and other manufacturers’ model of the future. Not only will this system help avoid rear-end collisions, which is the cause of a vast majority of automobile accidents, the new technology will help steer future vehicles away from obstacles in their direct path.
So how does the car know when to steer around something or hit the brakes for you? Well, with a combination of radar, ultra sonic sensors and a camera, the system monitors the road ahead of you. If it senses a potential collision with something but doesn’t sense the driver taking action, like maneuvering around the oncoming problem, the new system will send a signal to the car to either steer around an obstacle or brake before the car gets to it.
The proliferation of electronically controlled braking systems, drive-by-wire throttle, and electric power steering making it possible in this case for the system to take these actions, controlling the car.
While this technology certainly has its perks, we can’t help but wonder what happens if there is something beside the car when it goes to steer around an obstacle. Certainly, this is something to be considered and we have no doubt Ford will take it into account before releasing it to the market. Until then, its nerves of steal and some serious testing in the Ford test drivers’ future.