Ford Sets The Curve With New Safety Technology

When it comes to road safety, the research is clear: Every year in this country, some 50,000 crashes occur when drivers are going too fast on a curve, often when exiting or entering the highway. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has said that freeway ramps “are the sites of far more crashes per miles driven than any other segment of interstate highways.”

That’s the motivation behind the introduction of Ford’s latest safety breakthrough—Curve Control—which is designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles when taking a curve too quickly.

Here how the new system works: 100 times a second, sensors inside the vehicle check to detect if a vehicle is entering a curve too fast by comparing how quickly the driver is trying to turn with how quickly the vehicle is actually turning. If the vehicle is “pushing”—that is, if it isn’t turning as fast as the driver is working the steering wheel—Curve Control automatically applies a precise amount of braking force to each individual wheel to optimize driver control while also rapidly reducing engine torque.

Curve Control will launch as a standard feature on the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, along with an impressive list of other Ford driver-assist and safety technologies, including next-generation adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, state-of-the-art, pressure-based airbags, the company’s advanced intelligent four-wheel-drive terrain-management system, and the first inflatable rear seat belts in the industry. By 2015, Ford expects 90 percent of its U.S. crossovers, sport utilities, trucks and vans to offer Curve Control.

It’s yet another in a long line of safety firsts from the Blue Oval, which helps explain the company’s standout record of honors from key safety organizations. Significantly, not only have more Ford products earned five-star government crash ratings than those from any other automaker, but the company also has more Top Safety Picks from the IIHS, too.

As explained by Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president of engineering for global product development, this reflects Ford’s commitment to helping drivers stay out of accidents when possible and protecting them when it’s not: “Ford is developing technologies such as Curve Control and radar-based collision warning systems that can prevent crashes from happening in the first place. These new active systems designed to prevent accidents are the perfect complement for Ford’s leading passive safety systems—such as advanced airbags and high-strength vehicle structures—that protect occupants when a crash is inevitable.”

Posted By: GC

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