Ford, Safety Leaders working to bring intelligent vehicles to market
Intelligent vehicles potentially could prevent 81 percent of all police-reported light-vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report. Traffic congestion keeps getting worse in American cities, annually wasting nearly 3.9 billion gallons of fuel, according to the Texas Transportation Institute's (TTI) 2010 Urban Mobility Report.
Ford Motor Company is talking with Dr. Seeck to discuss bringing intelligent vehicle technology to the world sooner and more affordably. Ford is leading research and working with automakers and safety leaders on the advanced wireless systems that can allow vehicles to "talk" to each other, reducing crashes and congestion.
"Intelligent vehicle technology has the potential to significantly reduce crashes. We want to work with Ford and others who are leading development of this technology to harmonize the underlying standards and requirements on a global level," said Seeck.
Ford is developing advanced crash avoidance systems using GPS technologies and wireless interactivity on a secured channel allocated by the FCC to create intelligent vehicles that communicate with each other in traffic and helping drivers avoid or mitigate crashes.
In addition to serving as president of Euro NCAP, Seeck also is head of Vehicle Technology with the German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt).
"Dr. Seeck has strong influence on safety globally, so we are excited to work with him on this next frontier of safety," said Jim Vondale, director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. "Ford has been a pioneer in safety technology for many decades. Now we are leading the development of crash avoidance technologies, including our intelligent vehicle research, to help drivers avoid crashes in the first place."
Ford was first with new safety technologies, developing seat belts in the 1950s, airbags in the 1980s and today the industry's first rear inflatable safety belts.
Ford will contribute two prototype Ford Taurus sedans to the world's first government-sponsored driving clinics this summer. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Programs Office will sponsor research by a coalition of automakers organized by the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP), a joint research group founded by Ford and General Motors. They are working to develop functional standards in advance of completing the research phase in 2013. Essentially, they are finding a way to let automobiles shake hands and discuss what they’re doing.
Ford is collaborating on such a research project in an effort to address congestion-related traffic safety issues in Germany, as well. The Safe and Intelligent Mobility-Test Field Germany research project, running through next year, is a 400-vehicle field test to evaluate feasibility of wireless systems in the real world.