180-degree cameras to aid safety at road junctions


The Front Split View Camera will be available as an option on the new Ford Galaxy and S-MAX and displays a 180-degree view from the front of the car, using a video camera in the grille.

At a blind junction or exiting a driveway, the camera enables drivers to spot approaching vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.

This ground-breaking technology is activated at the push of a button. A 1-megapixel camera in the front grille enables drivers to see a real-time 180-degree view, both left and right, on the vehicle's eight-inch colour touchscreen. Drivers can track road users that approach on either side and pass in front of the vehicle.

The camera, just 33mm wide, is kept clear by a retractable jet-washer that operates automatically when the windscreen wipers are activated.

Data recorded by the European Road Safety Observatory SafetyNet project indicated that approximately 19% of drivers involved in accidents at junctions experienced obstructions to view. The UK’s Department of Transport said that in 2013, vision affected by external factors contributed to 11% of all road accidents.

Ronny Hause, engineer, driver assistance electronic systems, Ford of Europe, said: "It's not just blind junctions that can be stressful, sometimes an overhanging tree, or bushes can be the problem. Simply driving off driveways can be a challenge. Much like a rear-view camera, Front Split View Camera is one of those technologies that people will soon find indispensable.

"From sunrise to sunset we tested the Front Split View Camera on all kinds of roads, congested urban streets and areas with a lot of cyclists and pedestrians.

"Tackling tunnels, narrow alleys and garages in all light conditions also meant we could ensure the technology worked well even when sunlight was shining directly into the camera." 

The new Galaxy and S-MAX are available to order now with front and rear cameras a £400 option. Front Split View Camera also will be offered on the all-new Ford Edge upscale SUV, available in Europe later this year.  

Find out about the here and now of autonomous driving at Active Safety: ADAS to Autonomous USA Conference & Exhibition (October 12-13, Novi, MI).

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