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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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RE: This is why gas milage...
By walk2k on 10/8/2008 1:35:50 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, wrong.

First of all, what does traction control or airbags have to do with gas mileage? Very very little.

Secondly, engine performance HAS increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Take a look at i.e. the VW Rabbit when it was first introduced - 75-85hp? Vs the Golfs and GTIs today, 160-190 hp?

It's exactly BECAUSE horsepower has increased so much that gas mileage hasn't. That and people driving ever larger and larger truck and truck variants as passenger vehicles.

I swear for a tech-blog there's a bunch of luddites here pooh-poohing every new technological advancement. You don't want this on your car, fine don't buy one. But I bet you'll be glad the soccer mom in her 8,000lb SUV has it when she's about to rear-end you.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By joeld on 10/8/2008 9:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
For the most part, I agree. You can only get so efficient, an the higher the performance, the more economy will suffer.

I think there are some models that haven't changed significantly (perhaps the entry level engine in many compacts) with regards to performance, yet gas mileage has dropped considerably because of the additional weight associated with increased safety. I think paying a little more for gas is worth it! These models are what the poster you replied to are referring to.

RE: This is why gas milage...
By FITCamaro on 10/9/2008 8:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Airbags add weight. More weight = less mileage.

Consider that since the 80s the weight of a cars drivetrain has been reduced at least 100 pounds(due to use of aluminum) but the weight of the average vehicle has gone up 300-400 pounds at least.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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