Radar based technology selling at double, even triple expected rates

Ford’s pioneering technology that uses radar to help the driver avoid crashes, is selling at 3 times the rate Ford expected. In the year 2010 and and 2011, 320,000 of the systems have been purchased by Ford customers.

The technology, such as the blind spot information system and the collision warning with brake system will be available as an option on the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.

The blind spot information system employs sensors at the outboard rear panels to detect if a vehicle is in the traditional blind spot. And indicator light on the dash of the Ford Focus Electric will let the driver know if a vehicle is there.

Sue Chiske, the group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering says buyers “have an incredible amount of access to information, and we’re responding to their interest by offering vehicles with the technologies they want.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of accidents involve driver inattention, and these sorts of systems could help warn a driver who is drowsy or distracted.

The radar based technology is also the basis for Ford’s collision warning with brake assist technology, designed to detect the relative position of vehicles and warn the driver both audibly and visually. Such a technology is only found in more expensive models, but “Ford has a goal of making these types of technologies available on a broad range of models.”

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