September 20, 2007

Ford demonstrates results of active safety systems research in Europe

Aachen, Germany – Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany has presented its results for PReVENT, a joint research project co-funded by the European Union Commission for improved road safety through innovative active safety systems. More than 800 representatives from the fields of politics, the media and industry were expected at the five-day event to experience and test a range of new systems.

PReVENT (PReVENTive and Active Safety Applications) is a four-year research project which will conclude in January 2008.

Within the framework of PReVENT, Ford demonstrated how digital data from navigation systems can be used to support future active safety systems in cars. For example, by using the detailed map, the vehicle “recognizes” potential hazard areas and prepares itself to react accordingly. “Path Prediction”, an additional feature, analyzes the driver’s daily route pattern and, through probability calculation, “learns and knows” the route in advance. It could, for example, learn the angle of curves on the route, and use the vehicle’s adaptive lighting system to light the curve at a very early stage.

In addition to technical issues, PReVENT has also addressed legal issues, to define when and to what extent the different active safety systems may interfere with the driver’s autonomy.

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