Ford is going to unveil the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion in January at the Detroit Auto Show. Ford has announced that the new Fusion will be available with a new Lane Keeping System that will alert and assist the driver when the car starts drifting out of a lane.
The new Lane Keeping System uses a digital camera mounted on the windshield ahead of the rearview mirror, allowing the Fusion to watch the road ahead to detect an unintentional lane departure. The Ford Lane Keeping System has three levels of assistance available to the driver depending on what is happening: Lane Keeping Alert, Lane Keeping Aid and Driver Alert.
“Fusion’s Lane Keeping System combines a digital imaging sensor with our own state-of-the-art control software to process images and determine what level of warning or assistance to provide to the driver,” said Michael Kane, Ford development engineer. “We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring the accuracy of the lane detection and the smoothness of the assist.”
The system only works when it is turned on by the driver and at speeds above 40 mph. The lane markers also must be clearly visible for the system to work.
When the system detects the car is approaching the edge of the lane without a turn signal activated, the lane marker in the icon turns yellow and the steering wheel vibrates to simulate driving over rumble strips. If the driver doesn’t respond and continues to drift, the lane icon turns red and EPAS will nudge the steering and the vehicle back toward the center of the lane. If the car continues to drift, the vibration is added again along with the nudge. The driver can overcome assistance and vibration at any time by turning the steering wheel, accelerating or braking.
“Ford’s Lane Keeping System software monitors the car’s position in real time,” said Kane. “But it also keeps track of behavior over a longer period while driving. If a driver is tired, this can often be detected by the car constantly drifting back and forth across the road.”
The Ford Explorer is also going to get the system in 2012 and Ford will roll out the Lane Keeping System to a wide range of its vehicles over the next several years.