sdoyle's point is that the lines can be totally obscured. Lines are also sometimes missing or wrong. I'm sure Ford worked hard to maximize the capabilities of the system, but there will always be circumstances that it cannot overcome. Your comment from the Ford engineer doesn't adress what the system does if it cannot discern a line, which I be interested in reading.
That facial recognition heritage is very interesting. I wonder if they could replace/supplement the key fob with either facial recognition or another biometric (eg., fingerprint) tool to verify the owner of the car before turning it on. Great way to prevent theft. Personally, I would also like a similar control to prevent towing, based on a recent, unpleasant personal experience where I parked in front of an unmarked driveway.
@David: You bring up my first thought. I think the first consequence of this technology will be a less attentative driver who will expect the electronics/mechanics to keep them safe. Let's see, we have an automatic transmission, speed control, GPS, and lane control. Drop the screen and lets watch a video on the way.
This will really change the face of automobile safety. If this can be linked with GPS and road profiles , this can be really enchanced and can reduce accidents considerably. With the availabilbity of powerful low cost, low power MCUs technology one day will make it even possible for the blind to drive. This is one of the best examples of technlogy improvign quality of life..
Thanks for clearing that up, Chuck. Good to know all the enviromental factors were taken into consideration. I agree, it is very interetsing that the software is an offshoot of facial recognition software.
Lauren: Ford engineers spent years developing software algorithms to recognize various road conditions, including rain, snow, and ice. Ford engineer Mike Kane told us, "We've worked with our suppliers to make sure that in different environmental conditions and different situations, we can still see the lane lines." One interesting note: Historically, this software was an offshoot of facial recognition software. Ford and its suppliers took that technology and re-engineered for use on highways.
EPS.. didn't replace older hydraulic power steering because of fuel effiency per se.
It's primary advantage: it is a easier / more flexible system to incorporate into new car designs.(easier to route wires than hydraulic lines) This leads to faster design turns (less engineering). The load is now on the alternator - not a hydraulic pump.
And it translates to hybrid/electric tech easier. (no need to support multiple systems in the future).
It is a strategic design move...
Yea, it is easier to incorporate new advanced features like auto parking/and warning systems.
As to warning someone falling a sleep.. good intentions (but I remain a bit skeptical because of "law of unintended consequences" )
Sorta like...making a road "safer" for it's posted speed, only to find people drive faster because of the improvement.
or allowing people driving licenses.. that can't parallel park.
When this idea was first proposed, the general reaction was "nice idea, but even if you could get it to work, the liability issues would keep the big automakers from releasing such a thing". But for a couple of years now, it has been offered as an option on high-end vehicles. Even the Prius at its top trim level has a package that includes
- automatic parking
- lane keeping assistance and
- adaptive cruise control (which in crowded traffic maintains a set distance to the car ahead instead of a set speed).
I didn't take it. (I preferred the sun-roof/solar roof offered at the trim level below, and in April 2011, one also had to worry about availability of configurations that were not actually on the dealer lot.)
I think this could be a great feature. A few years ago or more I remember seeing an offroad vehical using a camera to scan the terrain, determine where the dirt road was and control speed, steering, and braking to stay on the roadway. Amazing if they got the computer to fit in a rearview mirror cause there computer was fairly large. Funny.. the steering system wasn't developed for your safety, but for increasing MPG, which equates to a fine/tax for the automaker. Oh, well still an interesting idea. Hope it works out great I always liked the idea of a semiautomated car.
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