The feminine intellect behind the 2013 Ford Fusion Driver-Assist Technology

Early orders for the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion show roughly one in six new buyers are opting for the Driver Assist Package, that incorporates the Blind Spot Information System with Ford’s Lane-Keeping System, auto high-beams and rain-sensing wipers. This week Torque News talked with two women behind the technology once found only in premium vehicles.

Rebecca L. Seiler is an Active Safety Product Engineer for Ford who after school, joined the graduate program for new hires, allowing relatively free movement among departments to find their niche. She found technology moving towards controlling electro-mechanical systems and the possibility of a career developing software to autonomously control vehicle functioning. Finding this of great interest, she returned to college for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, focused on Control Systems. When she to returned to Ford, she joined the advanced engineering Active Safety department and began writing algorithms for Ford's collision warning and mitigation technologies.

Jennifer D. Shaw is the Driver Assistance Electronics Supervisor at Ford Motor Company was hired after earning her Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She began by working in the Body and Security Electronics (BSE) department on projects concerning remote vehicle entry and engine immobilization. In a year, she moved into the Sustainable Mobility Technologies unit, working on the Focus Electric before returning to BSE and the Driver Assistance Electronics department.

Seiler writes algorhythmic codes to control advanced safety systems. Shaw has been working with sensors and the systems they control, like blind spot vehicle detection, parking assistance and rear proximity alerts.

Ford recently commissioned a survey by Penn Schoen Berland of American drivers over 18 to assay the prevailing attitude on Driver Assistance technology.

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