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The 2009 Flex will be available with the Ford Collision Warning System

Ford Collision Warning System Diagram  (Source: Ford)
System warns of impending collision and prepares brakes

Ford Motor Company is betting big on new technology to help drivers avoid accidents. Most cars on the road today utilize technology like air bags to help you survive an accident, but typically only expensive luxury cars utilized technology that actually helped drivers avoid a crash.

Ford announced a new technology called Collision Warning with Brake Support that is coming in 2009 on certain Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The crux of the system is that it detects an imminent collision via a type of radar and produces a tone over the cars audio system to warn the driver.

In addition to the tone warning, the system also projects a red warning light onto the windshield of the vehicle. At the same time the audio and visual warnings are going off, the system primes the brakes for emergency stop.

Braking is pre-charged and a brake-assist feature is engaged to help the driver get maximum braking force as soon as possible. Paul Mascarenas, Ford VP of product engineering, Global Product Development said in a statement, "The new Collision Warning with Brake Support technology puts us on the leading edge of active safety to help customers detect and avoid possible dangers. Ford will be the first to offer this technology on mainstream models that many families can afford."

Ford is mum on exactly what the Brake Support system entails and how specifically it works. It doesn't appear that the system starts braking the vehicle alone; the driver has to initiate braking. Collision warning with Brake Support isn’t the only radar assisted safety system making its way into Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Ford is introducing Adaptive Cruise Control that will adjust the speed of the vehicle when cruise is engaged depending on proximity to other vehicles. Ford has also announced a system known as BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that also uses radar.

DailyTech reported this week that Ford introduced a speed limiting key system called MyKey that limits the car to lower speeds when used to start the vehicle. The system is being marketed to parents of teenage children. Interestingly, Bugatti uses a similar system on its exotic Veyron; a special key is needed to get maximum speed from the car.

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By FITCamaro on 10/8/2008 1:23:54 PM , Rating: -1
Anti-lock brakes are known for being dangerous in the winter. I too would love to be able to turn it off. My first car didn't have anti-lock brakes. Or airbags. Or traction control. Just seat belts. Had one accident where someone else rearended me.

A lack of safety features creates better drivers. When you're afraid of getting hurt in an accident, you pay attention more. Safety equipment has taken that fear away.

By clovell on 10/8/2008 1:48:11 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, FIT - I've gotta disagree here. ABS saved my ass at least a dozen times last winter in Chicago.

By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 3
I also have to disagree, I live with snow at least 5 months out of the year, anti-lock breaks can be the difference of sliding 10 feet and 20 feet. Pumping your breaks, does work, but not with the efficiency of anti-lock breaks.

What most companies do not mention is the fact that in order for ABS to be effective, the tires must remain in contact with the road, so if there is debris, or one side of the cars tires are on ice and the other is not, it can cause more harm than good.

I do agree with you on one front, ABS is not a replacement for driving carefully for the conditions. When trying to stop from 60MPH on icy roads, ABS is not going to help you, at that point it all becomes about physics, and not even ABS can cut down stopping time enough for it to be a safe driving replacement.

By Mitch101 on 10/8/2008 3:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why they should make skins like those for an iPod or Zune for cars.

Make them from Nerf and in the winter you can hit anything. Then reckless driving would be fun. I also believe Nerf floats for even more reckless driving fun. ;)

RE: Help me Ford, I don't know how to slam on my brakes!
By on 10/8/2008 4:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
You may disagree, but who needs any brakes when its time to run over those global warming lemmings. I like to yell out the window "Now that's an inconvenient truth!" after I pancake them.

By clovell on 10/9/2008 12:47:00 PM , Rating: 2

By jimbojimbo on 10/8/2008 3:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
I saw a documentary on autmobile safety and they said when anti-lock brakes came out, everyone dreamed of safer driving and predicted accident rates will go down. They found out that people just drove more recklessly and accident rates stayed the same. It seems there's a rate of accidents that people are happy with. If safety devices go up they just become worse drivers until they pass that rate at which point they start to take notice and drive a little bit more carefully. Human behaviour at its finest.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 8:26:41 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The safer you make cars, the crappier people drive. The only reason people have to fear most accidents anymore is that of their insurance going up.

By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 9:03:16 AM , Rating: 2
And you seem to assume I care what people on the internet think of me.

I agree that road deaths are tragic. Is it so wrong to think though that instead of pouring billions of dollars into safety systems which only add cost, complexity, and weight to our vehicles, we should perhaps instead focus on improving the quality of our drivers so they are unneeded?

Do I mind ABS existing? No. Do I mind airbags existing? No. Do I think we need warning systems of an impending collision? No. You should already know that because you are supposed to be paying attention to the road first and foremost.

By andrinoaa on 10/10/2008 3:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yea right FIt, same as sex education, just say no. Ignorance is bliss all right.

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