Ford have announced that it expects a car able to drive itself during traffic jams to be readily available by 2017. The car, which will dramatically reduce time spent in traffic, will combine existing Ford technology including Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Stop and Lane Keeping Aid.
What it does
- Park Assist operates the steering wheel when parking in reverse.
- Adaptive Cruise Control helps motorway drivers avoid tailgating vehicles in front
- City Stop applies the brake when an obstacle appears in front
- Lane Keeping Aid knows where lanes start and finish
Due to boredom, drivers miss chances to keep up with traffic jams. However, Ford believes that a stretch of motorway which includes 25 per cent of cars could reduce journey times by as much as 37.5 per cent. Delays will be reduced by 20 per cent. Ford’s Traffic Jam assist will work only where road markings are clear, absent of pedestrians, cyclists and animals, and where the car is automatic transmission.
Joseph Urhahne at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering suggested:
“Drivers spend more than 30 per cent of their time in heavy traffic Traffic Jam Assist could help make travelling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by using technology to keep pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion. If there’s one thing more frustrating than being stuck in a jam, it’s being stuck in a jam where drivers are slow to keep pace with the movement around them. Traffic Jam Assist could make unavoidable traffic jams less stressful and less tiring for the drivers who must negotiate them.”
The system, revealed at Ford’s ‘Blueprint for Mobility’, goes up against a similar technology built into Audi’s A8. In January, Audi showcased a Traffic Jam Assistant specifically for slow traffic jams. Audi’s traffic jams follow curves independently between 0 to 37 mph using 21 degree sensors scanning 820 feet in length combined by camera monitors and ultrasonics.
Mercedes-Benz is also experimenting with a system built into their new S Class.[related_posts]