Ford Developing Accident Warning Tech for CVs

Ford Developing Accident Warning Tech for CVs

Ford is developing technology that it claims could warn drivers of connected vehicles about accidents on the road ahead.

In collaboration with Vodafone, the automaker is testing a system which it describes as ‘eCall Plus’, an expansion of the existing eCall rapid assistance system in use across the EU. In addition to notifications about accidents themselves, Ford also says the system will be able to give drivers advance notice about emergency vehicles responding to these accidents, enabling them to move their cars out of the emergency vehicles’ path.

It is being tested as part of Ford’s Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf (KoMoD) project, and is intended to help create an ’emergency corridor’ through which the emergency services can reach automobile accident scenes more quickly. Data on the formation of this corridor would also be communicated to the emergency vehicles involved. In several countries, including Germany, drivers are already legally required to form such a corridor in the event of an accident, but a 2016 DEKRA survey found nearly half of drivers in these countries didn’t know how to do so.

Ford is also developing and testing other technologies under the aegis of KoMoD. These include the Emergency Vehicle Warning System that aims to allow emergency vehicles to communicate their position to other vehicles; the Traffic Light Assistance System that’s designed to issue drivers of connected Ford vehicles with information about traffic light timings to minimize the time they spend waiting at red lights; and the Tunnel Information System, which aims to send drivers of Ford’s CVs warning “messages from roadside units … about speed limits, slowly moving vehicles or lane closures”.

Ford of Germany CEO Gunnar Herrmann says he feels this project’s significance is that “connected and automated driving are key technologies of the future”. However, while Ford claims eCall Plus imagines “a future where all vehicles communicate with each other”, it is currently only being tested at ranges of up to 500 meters.

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