If you’re the kind of pedestrian that likes to weave on and off the road just to spook drivers, your days of nuisance death defying are over, as Ford’s new Mondeo looks set to rid drivers of any anxiety they have when it comes errant road walkers. The new saloon car is coming equipped with Ford’s pedestrian detection technology, which it says is able to automatically brake in the case of a pedestrian stepping into the car’s path, helping to limit the damage done to car and person if an accident occurs, and potentially avoid it altogether if the speeds aren’t too high.
Pre-collision detection systems are becoming somewhat of a safety tech de jour as of late, with any companies pushing to develop their own automated braking systems. Volvo has an animal detection technology that it’s working on which should help avoid collisions with large creatures and there’s calls in the UK for automated braking to be made a mandatory feature in new cars, as it’s thought it could half the number of road deaths by 2025 if implemented next year.
With that in mind, it’s not all that surprising that Ford is also pushing a driver-free braking standard, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy feature. It works by collecting information about what’s infront of you via an onboard camera located just behind the windscreen. The footage is cross referenced with a radar system located in the front bumper and if a shape that looks like a pedestrian is spotted in the car’s path, the brakes will engage automatically.
“The new Mondeo is the most technologically advanced Ford vehicle ever introduced in Europe,” said Ulrich Koesters, vehicle line director, Ford of Europe. “Features like Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection add safety and security for drivers in busy urban conditions.”
The only downside with most pedestrian technology and its similar contemporaries, is that it only really works at lower speeds. However Ford’s works up to 80 kilometres per hour (50 MPH). While Ford doesn’t promise to be able to stop an accident at those speeds, its automatic technology will drop the speed down enough to reduce injury to everyone involved. At slower speeds, it should be able to stop the car in time to avoid a collision altogether.
Ford has put a lot of work into its new tech too, that much is clear, as Koesters explains: “The real world testing was crucial. Pedestrians come in all shapes and sizes, and adopt an infinite number of postures,” said Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer, Ford of Europe. “We covered more than 500,000 kilometres to make sure that we tested Pedestrian Detection against the widest range of people and situations possible.”
The new Modeos will all come equipped with the basic version of the pedestrian avoidance technology as standard. That version works up to 25MPH, with the fancier versions coming as part of an upgrade pack which can be discussed with your Ford dealer.
Other new technological features include lane assist, adaptive headlamp technology and active park assist.