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Ford testing Electronic Brake Light technology

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Ford has been conducting experimental tests of their new communicative technology, named ‘Electronic Brake Light’, meant to mitigate or prevent rear-end collisions in situations of heavy traffic or around blind corners.

The way in which the technology works is to that it sends an alert from a car traveling ahead, to a vehicle traveling behind, to signal them when they have stopped. The signal is sent from the front car, which may have halted or may be braking but is obscured from the car behind by trees, a wall, traffic or fog, in order to activate a ‘warning’ light in the following car.

This technology is just one of twenty potential future systems Ford has tested, as part of Safe Intelligent Mobility – simTD; this is a four-year joint industry research project and it involved some other major manufacturers in the automotive industry.

The simTD field tests took place in Frankfurt, Germany, and 500 test drivers took part in it with 120 vehicles, including 20 Ford S-MAX models. More than 41,000 hours have been recorded and 1.6 million kilometers on public roads as well as an enclosed test track.

Mister Paul Mascarenas – chief technical officer and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation – has said that the focus of the technology is on real world testing, the goal being to implement it in the foreseeable future.

He continued to say that car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications represent one of the major developments in vehicle safety.

The other technologies that were tested include an Obstacle Warning System, which alerts the driver to the present, position and type of a potentially hazardous object on the road, as well as the Traffic Sign Assistant, which keeps constant contact with traffic management authorities for updated information.

The simTD includes several leading German automotive manufacturers, component suppliers, communication companies, research institutions and public authorities.

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