Ford demonstrates Fully Assisted Parking Aid & Obstacle Avoidance systems [videos]

Ford Obstacle Avoidance system 2

Ford is developing automated parking technology to enable customers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside of their car. The Fully Assisted Parking Aid prototype controls steering, gear selection and forward and reverse motion.

Ford recently demonstrated the technology to journalists for the first at its proving grounds in Lommel, Belgium, and a video demonstration can be viewed below.

The second new technology Ford also showed is called the “Obstacle Avoidance” system, which automatically steers and brakes to direct the vehicle away from traffic if the driver fails to steer or brake following system warnings.

The system uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with other vehicles that are stopped or slowing in the same lane ahead, or to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

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Ford Developing New Automated Parking System that Enables Push-Button Parking From Inside or Outside of the Vehicle
• Ford is developing automated parking technology to enable customers to park at the touch of a button from inside or outside of their car
• Ford’s Fully Assisted Parking Aid prototype controls steering, gear selection and forward and reverse motion to facilitate push-button parking
• Fully Assisted Parking Aid builds on existing Ford technologies such as Active Park Assist and Ford Powershift transmissions
LOMMEL, Belgium, Oct. 8, 2013 – Ford Motor Company is developing a new automated parking technology that could enable drivers to park with only the push of a button from inside or outside of their car.
The technology called Fully Assisted Parking Aid is currently in the prototype phase and controls steering, gear selection, and forward and reverse motion to facilitate push-button parking. Ford is demonstrating the technology to journalists for the first time this week at its proving grounds in Lommel, Belgium, and a video demonstration can be viewed here.
“Parking in today’s cities can be stressful and difficult,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “We want to make it as easy, efficient and accurate as possible – and that means exploring new concepts and approaches.”
Experts from Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering organisation are harnessing advances made in existing Ford technologies, such as Active Park Assist and Ford Powershift transmission, to deliver the next generation of parking technology – Fully Assisted Parking Aid.
Ford Powershift transmission is able to electronically control forward and reverse gear changes without physical driver input, while Active Park Assist can scan for appropriately-sized parking spaces and steer a car into that space.
Fully Assisted Parking Aid would detect a suitable parallel parking space using ultrasonic sensors. The driver would then activate the system by taking the car out of gear (putting it into neutral) and pushing a button either from inside the car or outside by remote control. The system would then take control of the steering, forward and reverse motion, braking and guidance to manoeuvre the vehicle into the space.
Fully Assisted Parking Aid would locate parking spaces at speeds of up to 30 km/h and require the driver to retain pressure on the button for the duration of the manoeuvre, enabling them to cancel or override the system at any time.
And because Ford’s parking systems can manoeuvre vehicles into spaces just 20 per cent longer than the overall vehicle length – Fully Assisted Parking Aid could free-up parking space lost to inefficient parking if utilised on a large number of vehicles.
Ford recently unveiled the all-new Ford S-MAX Concept featuring a number of next-generation technologies including an advanced version of Active Park Assist with perpendicular parking capability – a system that could be further utilised by Fully Assisted Parking Aid to help drivers effortlessly manoeuvre into compact parking spaces and garages.
“The key is that we already have the technologies that put us in a position where we could one day make fully automated parking a reality for Ford customers,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president Ford Research and Innovation. “Fully Assisted Parking Aid could provide additional benefit to drivers with reduced mobility, including disabled and elderly drivers, as well as customers who face difficult reverse-parking manoeuvres in busy and narrow streets every day.”

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Ford Develops Test Car That Automatically Steers Around Stopped or Slowing Vehicles or Pedestrians
• Ford today revealed a test car equipped with technology that uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with vehicles that are stopped or slowing in the same lane ahead, or to avoid hitting a pedestrian
• The “Obstacle Avoidance” system automatically steers and brakes to direct the vehicle away from traffic if the driver fails to steer or brake following system warnings
• Ford leads European research project interactIVe (Accident Avoidance by Active Intervention of Intelligent Vehicles), a consortium of 29 partners that have joined forces to further develop active safety systems that intervene in case of imminent collision
LOMMEL, Belgium, Oct. 8, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today revealed a test car equipped with technology that uses automatic steering and braking to avoid collisions with vehicles that are stopped or slowing in the same lane ahead, or to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Ford’s “Obstacle Avoidance” technology issues warnings first if it detects slow-moving objects, stationary obstacles or pedestrians in the same lane ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following those warnings the system will then automatically steer and brake to avoid a collision. Ford demonstrated the new research technology for the first time this week at the company’s proving grounds in Lommel, Belgium, and a video can be viewed here.
Ford has developed a Ford Focus equipped with Obstacle Avoidance as part of a Ford-led and European-funded research project called “interactIVe” (Accident Avoidance by Active Intervention of Intelligent Vehicles). The consortium of 29 partners is developing active safety systems which intervene in case of imminent collisions*.
“There are many instances – such as unexpectedly queuing traffic ahead – when this technology could benefit both the driver whose car is equipped with the technology and others on the road,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “The Obstacle Avoidance research project offers an exciting glimpse of a safer future where the risk of some types of accidents could be greatly reduced.”
Obstacle Avoidance technology utilises three radars, ultrasonic sensors and a camera to scan the road up to 200 metres ahead. If the system detects a slow-moving or stationary object it first displays a warning and then sounds a chime. If the driver does not steer or brake, then the Obstacle Avoidance technology applies the brakes, scans for gaps on either side of the hazard, and takes control of the electronic power steering to avoid a collision.
The technology has been tested at speeds of more than 60 km/h (38 mph). Research data reveals that less than a third of drivers involved in rear-end collisions attempt to steer prior to impact**.
“By demonstrating Obstacle Avoidance on the interactIVe research vehicle, Ford is building on existing leading safety technologies to show where we believe further pioneering innovations could take us in the future,” Samardzich said.
Also on display in Lommel is the new Ford S-MAX Concept featuring Ford Intelligent Protection System with Pre-Collision Assist, which identifies pedestrians and automatically applies the brakes if a collision is imminent.
Ford already has introduced active safety technologies to its vehicles including Active City Stop, which uses a light detecting and ranging sensor to monitor traffic in front and scans the road ahead 50 times every second to help prevent collisions at speeds up to 15 km/h, and help reduce the severity of impacts at speeds at speeds of up to 30 km/h. Ford’s Lane Keeping Aid technology features a camera that monitors the position of the vehicle relative to road markings and applies a steering torque to alert the driver if it detects the vehicle drifting out of lane.


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