A grille-mounted camera system that provides a 180° view from the front of a car has been launched by car-maker Ford.
Data recorded by the European Road Safety Observatory SafetyNet project indicates that 19 per cent of drivers involved in accidents at junctions experienced a restricted view
The technology is activated at the push of a button. A 1-megapixel camera in the front grille enables drivers to see a real-time 180-degree view – both left and right – on the vehicle’s eight-inch colour touchscreen.
Drivers can track road users that approach on either side and pass in front of the vehicle. The camera, just 33mm wide, is kept clear by a specially designed retractable jet-washer that operates automatically when the windscreen wipers are activated.
“Pulling out on a blind junction can be a tricky manoeuvre for new and experienced drivers alike. The best approach has traditionally been to simply lean forward to get the best view whilst creeping forwards with the windows wound down to listen for approaching vehicles, but cyclists are a particular risk as they can’t be heard,” said Keith Freeman, AA quality training manager in the UK, who also trains young drivers as part of the Ford Driving Skills For Life programme. “This technology will certainly make emerging from anywhere with a restricted view so much safer and the experience less nerve-wracking for those behind the wheel.”
Ford models including the all-new Galaxy and S-MAX already offer Rear View Camera technology; and Cross Traffic Alert system, which uses rear-mounted sensors to warn drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them.
Other new driver assistance technologies available on the new Galaxy and S-MAX include an Intelligent Speed Limiter, which when activated scans traffic signs and adjusts the throttle to help drivers stay within legal speed limits; Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which will reduce the severity of some frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians; and Glare-Free Highbeam technology for the adaptive LED headlamps, which detects vehicles ahead and fades out light that could dazzle oncoming drivers, while retaining maximum illumination for other areasThe technology is expected to help reduce accidents at junctio