jump to search

Ford of Europe

Vehicle Safety

At Ford, we design and manufacture vehicles that achieve high levels of vehicle safety for a wide range of people over a broad spectrum of real-world conditions.

In the 2013 European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) assessments, the Ford Tourneo Connect earned a five-star safety rating. In addition, the vehicle received the Euro NCAP’s Best in Class recognition for the highest safety performance scores in the vehicle segment. The Ford Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom were the first van and “kombi” (i.e., multipurpose vehicle), respectively, to achieve five-star ratings in the Euro NCAP heavy vehicle assessment. The Transit also received Euro NCAP’s Best in Class recognition for the highest safety performance score in its segment.

Ford has an industry-leading total of seven Euro NCAP Advanced rewards, for our Lane-Keeping Aid, Active City Stop, Forward Alert, Lane-Keeping Alert, MyKey®, Emergency Assistance and Driver Alert technologies.

Encouraging Safer Driving

Driver behavior is a key contributing factor in many vehicle crashes.1 We at Ford have developed and support an array of programs and technologies that help to encourage safer behavior on the roadways, for both experienced and novice drivers.

In late 2013, we launched Ford Driving Skills For Life (DSFL) for the first time in Europe. Ford will invest €1.5 million in the first year of this program alone to provide free hands-on training to 5,000 young drivers in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Italy, and to thousands more online through The Academy. In 2014, Ford DSFL will be launched in several additional European countries.

Collaborative Research

In order to progress from current technologies to our long-term vision of connected and automated vehicles, we are conducting collaborative research with a variety of public, private and academic entities.

In Europe, we are contributing to the European harmonization and standardization of wireless communication systems and applications within the framework of the DRIVE C2X project, which is co-funded by the European Commission. DRIVE C2X is the acronym for “DRIVing implementation and Evaluation of C2X communication technology in Europe” (C2X refers to “car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure” communication). This project kicked off in January 2011 and is planned to run until mid-2014. It brings together more than 40 stakeholders, such as vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, universities and public authorities from all over Europe. Within the framework of DRIVE C2X, field operational tests in a real-world environment have been conducted over the course of six to nine months in seven test sites across Europe.

One of these test sites is located in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, and is closely linked to a national research initiative called Safe Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany, or sim™ for short. Ford contributed to this joint project, which brought together relevant stakeholders of the German automotive industry and concluded successfully in June 2013. sim™ was one of the world’s first large-scale field operational tests of cooperative systems. Over six months, 120 vehicles from six automakers were driven more than 1.6 million kilometers. Ford contributed with 20 Ford S‑MAX vehicles equipped with innovative vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. Within sim™, 500 drivers tested and validated more than 20 functions targeting traffic safety, efficiency and comfort. Ford led the development of the Emergency Electronic Brake Light warning functionality. The project was supported in part by the German government.

Also in Europe, we have been one of 29 partners in the Accident Avoidance by Active Intervention of Intelligent Vehicles (interactIVe) research project, led by the Ford European Research Center in Aachen, Germany. This consortium sought to support the development and implementation of accident avoidance systems, and consisted of seven automotive manufacturers, six suppliers, 14 research institutes and three other stakeholders. The European Commission covered more than half of the €30 million budget. During the 42-month duration of interactIVe, the partners tested the performance of prototype safety systems through active intervention, including automated braking and steering in critical situations, with the aim of avoiding collisions or at least mitigating impact severity in accidents. The final event of InteractIVe in November 2013 took place in Aachen and at Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground, with live vehicle demonstrations.

See the Vehicle Safety and Driver Assist Technologies section for more on our vehicle safety technologies and activities.

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey: Report to Congress (Washington, DC: U.S. DOT, July 2008).