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Ford Begins Real-World Testing of Future Car-to-Car and Car-to-Infrastructure Communication Technologies
- Ford begins real-world testing of future car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication technologies on European roads
- Ford contributes 20 specially-equipped S-MAX models to a 120 vehicle fleet that will be used to test new technologies over thousands of kilometres
- Real-world testing forms part of “Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany,” a four-year practical field test of the potential of intelligent communication systems to improve traffic safety and mobility
- Ford participates in research projects around the world to aid development of next-generation car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication technologies
AACHEN, Germany, Aug. 6, 2012 – Ford Motor Company today begins real-world testing of future technologies as part of a research programme aimed at advancing car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication on European roads.
“Car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications represent the next major advancements in vehicle safety,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation. “Ford is committed to further real-world testing here and around the world with the goal of implementation in the foreseeable future.”
Ford is contributing 20 specially equipped S-MAX models to a 120 vehicle fleet being used to test 20 experimental driver assistance technologies as part of the four-year research project “Safe Intelligent Mobility – Testfield Germany” or simTD. The project’s goal is to better understand the potential for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication technologies to improve traffic safety and personal mobility.
Experts believe roads could be made safer and traffic congestion reduced by using mobile communications technology to integrate vehicles with each other and with transport infrastructure. Engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany and simTD research project partners have up to now tested the developmental technologies in a controlled environment. The technologies will now be tested on public roads in and around Frankfurt in real-world driving conditions.
Technologies being tested as part of the simTD research project include:
- Electronic Brake Light, which delivers a message from the lead vehicle to a following vehicle if an emergency braking procedure is carried out, even if the incident occurs out-of-sight, for example around a bend in the road. Ford is leading the development and integration of this application
- Obstacle Warning system, which enables a vehicle to inform other road users of the presence, position and type of potentially hazardous obstacles on the road
- Traffic Sign Assistant, which remains in continuous contact with traffic management centres to access up-to-date information on variable speed limits, temporary restrictions and diversions, as well as providing details of current and approaching permanent regulations, such as fixed speed limits and right of way
- Public Traffic Management, which provides exact traffic prognosis based on comprehensive information. This includes identifying likely traffic scenarios and their impact at the point in the journey when they are encountered rather than at the point of departure
- In-car internet access, which, for example, can enable the driver to reserve and pay for parking en-route
“The vehicles will cover thousands of kilometres in test drives and evaluations to gather valuable research data from every-day driving scenarios,” said Christian Ress, technical expert, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.
Ford is a global leader in researching car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications. In 2004 it engaged in a partnership with Minnesota Department of Transportation, U.S., to equip 100 state vehicles with sensors to collect traffic-related data including vehicle speed, location, direction and even localised weather conditions, with the aim of developing the next generation of transportation and driver information systems.
Ford was also the first vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. to demonstrate intelligent vehicle communication technologies to the public, with a multi-city tour that began in 2010.
The company continues its involvement in such testing programmes in Europe, the U.S. and around the world, with the objective of harmonising global standards for messaging and hardware. Collating results from these programmes will enable Ford to deliver new technologies to global customers with greater speed, efficiency, and lower cost.
The increasing use of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure technology is part of Ford’s “Blueprint for Mobility,” which was outlined by Executive Chairman Bill Ford during his keynote address at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. The “Blueprint for Mobility” details the company’s early thinking on how to tackle the issues of mobility in an increasingly crowded and urbanized planet between now and 2025.
The funding for the simTD project is approximately €53million, of which €30million of direct project promotional support has been provided by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The project is further supported by infrastructure investment from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs as well as funding from the state of Hessen. The consortium involves representatives from all major interest groups, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Volkswagen, Bosch, Continental, Deutsche Telekom, regional infrastructure operators and German Research Institutions (Technische Universität München und Berlin, Universität Würzburg, Fraunhofer).
Further information on simTD can be found at www.simTD.de.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
Ford of Europeis responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately 66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.