Ford, the company that defined the crossover utility vehicle segment, today introduced new automated driving technologies in the Ford Edge Concept. The technologies include a push-button and remote-operated parking feature customers could use from either inside or outside the vehicle.
Key attributes of the Ford Edge Concept – a sleek, sporty appearance; capability; fuel efficiency; and technology that assists the driver – are in line with what customers value around the world, which is driving global growth in the utility vehicle segment.
Driver-assist technologies and semi-automated features in Edge Concept hint at a future offering even more intelligent and capable vehicles from Ford. These sensor-based technologies form the building blocks for the future of automated driving, and will help make driving safer and more efficient.
Fully assisted parking aid, a prototype technology, lets customers park their vehicles at the touch of a button, or even by remote control. The concept builds on Ford’s current active park assist feature. It can find a perpendicular parking space using ultrasonic sensors. From inside, the driver pushes a button to activate the system; from outside the vehicle, fully assisted parking aid can be remotely activated, allowing customers to wait until the vehicle has pulled out of a tight parking spot before entering.
Using similar sensor and automated vehicle control technology, Ford has also begun a research project designed to refine advanced obstacle avoidance systems. In this case, the research and development vehicle is able to issue warnings if it detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles in the same lane ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following the warnings, the system will automatically steer and brake the vehicle to avoid a collision.
Adaptive steering, another new technology from Ford featured on Edge Concept, makes steering at low speeds dramatically easier, and steering in all conditions feel more confident and engaging. The technology, which builds on Ford’s electric power-assisted steering system, controls the relationship between how much the driver turns the wheel and how much the road wheels turn. This means that low-speed steering – such as pulling into or out of a parking space – requires much less turning of the wheel.
The technologies in the Ford Edge Concept complement the vehicle’s exterior design, which is carefully sculpted, fluid and athletic. The side view is highlighted by a D-pillar line that comes down the rail, takes a jog and returns.
To aid the fuel efficiency of a next-generation EcoBoost engine with start-stop technology, the Edge Concept has a new high-tech application of Active Grille Shutters. The shutters automatically open and close to maintain ideal engine operating temperature and maximize aerodynamic efficiency. When activated, a panel slips down from above, then two more move into place, appearing as if they radiate from the Ford oval. The brighter finish gives a stunning contrast to the black background.
Strong shoulders on Ford Edge Concept add to the feel and appearance of a runner in the starting blocks. The rearward slope of the grille influences the shape of the hood, which is both muscular and more compact. In a unique execution, the three-bar grille is connected to LED headlamps in a premium fashion.