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Ford is Helping Make Driving at Night Less Stressful

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Ford is Helping Make Driving at Night Less Stressful

Its system uses a windscreen camera and a bumper-mounted radar sensor, along with a database of "pedestrian shapes" to help it filter out trees and road signs to focus on people.

Currently, automated emergency braking (AEB) is not standard on most vehicles, let alone with nighttime pedestrian detection, and automakers' systems are somewhat varied in the way they function.

This new system will be able to notify drivers of pedestrians on the road, even during night time and automatically applies the brakes if the driver isn't listening to the system's warnings. This new system will be introduced this year with the arrival of the new generation Ford Fiesta in Europe, and then premiere in North America on the 2018 Mustang and F-150. If they don't brake, the vehicle does it for them.

Catchily named Pedestrian Detection, the system already existed for daytime, but it's now equipped for after-dark street-wanderers too. "Especially driving in towns and cities, pedestrians - sometimes distracted by mobiles - can without warning step into the road, leaving even alert drivers very little time to avoid an accident", says Gregor Allexi, active safety engineer at Ford of Europe. In 2015, three out of four pedestrian road deaths in the USA happened in the dark. "Day and night, Pedestrian Detection is created to help identify people already in - or about to step into - the road ahead".

Ford introduced the technology after commissioning a poll of United Kingdom and mainland European drivers about driving at night.

One in five respondents said they feared they may hit a pedestrian at night. Of these deaths, 48 per cent occurred at night, between 6:00pm and 6:00am.

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