Quality is critical to the safety of our customers and, therefore, to our responsibilities and success as a company. We are trusted to design and manufacture vehicles that achieve high levels of safety over a wide range of real-world conditions.
Safety is a fundamental aspect of quality. The foundation of our corporate safety policy, Policy Letter 7, states Ford’s commitment to design and build vehicles that meet or exceed applicable laws and regulations, and to advance safety wherever practicable.
Our Quality Operating System continues to deliver high-quality, safe and secure vehicles. This process includes real-world safety data, driver behavior considerations, road infrastructure and environmental factors, regulatory safety requirements and voluntary industry agreements.
We conduct engineering analyses, computer simulations and crash testing to evaluate the performance of vehicles and components, using state-of-the-art crash-test facilities in Dearborn, Michigan; Merkenich, Germany; and Dunton, England. In Dearborn, we also have a motion-based driving simulator, called VIRTTEX (VIRtual Test Track EXperiment), that we use to help us research advanced driver assist features, human-machine interface (HMI) concepts, and other driving-related human factors topics such as drowsy driving and distracted driving.
As well as meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements, our processes, tools and facilities confirm that our vehicles align with our own stringent internal guidelines:
Safety Design Guidelines: Our stringent internal engineering design guidelines exceed regulatory requirements and define additional real-world requirements that are not regulated
Public Domain Guidelines: Ford-specified levels of performance for significant public domain tests, which are designed to protect and strengthen our brands
We regularly re-evaluate and update these internal guidelines as appropriate.
Public Domain Ratings
Public domain rating programs vary around the world, each having unique testing protocols and evaluation criteria. Among other consumer advocacy groups, organizations such as New Car Assessment Programs (NCAPs) and insurance-sponsored organizations that rate vehicles for safety exist globally.
Global Safety Public Domain Organizations
Due to the disparity of, and ongoing changes to, NCAPs around the world, it is increasingly more difficult to achieve the highest ratings, and a vehicle may achieve the highest rating in one region or program, but not in another. These inconsistencies pose additional challenges for global automotive companies like Ford, and may even require us to implement unique vehicle designs in different markets.
The NCAPs around the world, which have traditionally included vehicle crashworthiness ratings, are increasingly including pedestrian protection assessments and crash avoidance technology evaluations.
What We’re Doing
The innovative driver assist technologies we are implementing today are making vehicles safer and more convenient.
Encouraging Safer Driving
Through training programs and new technology, we’re helping to make novice and experienced drivers safer, as well as protect passengers, pedestrians and other road users.