Ford Takes Driver Assist Technologies to the Next Level in 2013 Fusion
The 2013 Ford Fusion won’t drive itself just yet, but it’s packed with plenty of features that show that Ford just might be very interested in heading in that direction. Ford is equipping the 2013 Fusion with a slate of Driver Assist features focused around driver safety in a variety of hazardous conditions.
All of the new features are made possible by new additions like forward and rear facing cameras and radar combined with existing technology like electric power-assisted steering and data from the anti-lock brakes and stability control systems.
The Lane-Keeping System uses that forward facing camera to detect when drivers aren’t coloring inside the lines, giving a vibrating jolt to the driver that starts to drift out of his or her lane. If the driver doesn’t respond in kind, the system will automatically adjust the steering to bring the car back into the lane.
The Driver Alert System uses behavior patterns of drowsy drivers to detect whether or not the current driver is at risk of nodding off. If the risk is there, the car will display a helpful coffee cup icon that basically tells you that you need to get off the road ASAP. It’d be wise to listen, too – studies show that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
Pull-Drift Compensation gives drivers an extra hand when steering through headwinds or on steeply graded roads. The car will be able to detect unwanted drift and help the driver correct for it.
Adaptive cruise control uses radar to detect the distance between your car and the car in front of you. If the car detects that the gap is narrowing at too high a pace, it will automatically slow the car down to avoid collision, as long as adaptive cruise control has been activated. If the approach is too fast for the car to correct in time, a visual and audio alert is activated so that the driver can take action themselves.
Then, we have the most obvious addition – active park assist. It’s hard to imagine that many people would be willing to turn down a little extra help when parallel parking. The 2013 Fusion offers that help in the form of sensors that detect whether or not there is enough room to parallel park. It gets better, though – the car will actually do the steering for you, too. All the driver needs to do is press on the accelerator and brake.
Finally, mirrors are outfitted with a special light that will go off if there’s another car hiding in your blind spot. This feature will also help to watch for other cars coming down the aisle when you’re backing out of a parking spot.
Something tells me that once you get used to the 2013 Ford Fusion, you’ll never want to drive another car again. Seriously. Once you get used to all the driver assistance this car has to offer, chances are you’re going to find yourself at a nasty disadvantage if you have to go back to doing all of that stuff by yourself again. Something to think about as we careen into the future.