Ford has begun production of vehicles that can alert drivers to an accident ahead of them, moments after it has happened.
The technology, Ford says, has been made possible with the collaboration of Vodafone.
The system, according to both organisations, can make the driver aware of early warning that emergency vehicles are approaching and which side of the road they should move towards to avoid being an obstruction.
A statement by Ford indicates that the system has been designed to create an emergency corridor along which fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles can reach their destinations more quickly; and is being tried as part of Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf, a €15m project for the practical testing of new connected car technologies and automated driving.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ford of Germany, Gunnar Herrmann, is quoted as saying that connected and automated driving are key technologies of the future.
He said, “Ford has a long history of developing and testing vehicle to traffic infrastructure and vehicle to vehicle communications that can contribute to greater road safety and efficiency across the world. Together with Vodafone and in cooperation with the other companies involved, we will gain decisive insights into the Düsseldorf testing grounds to further advance the networking of vehicles.
“Already, in the event of an accident, ‘eCall’ functionality, which is available on the all-new Focus, can automatically call emergency services, and enables occupants to do so manually by pushing an SOS button inside the car. Anticipating a future where all vehicles communicate with each other via mobile phone networks and embedded modems, Ford and Vodafone are now exploring how ‘eCall Plus’ might also inform other drivers that there is an accident ahead, across a range of up to 500 metres.”