Ford will dramatically boost the availability of advanced driver-assist safety systems across its line-up over the next five years, the company revealed today.
The news ties into the results of a study, commissioned by Ford, which found that young American motorists fear the dangerous behavior of other motorists “more than death, public speaking and spiders”.
And, while visualising everyone naked might help with public speaking, young people - often referred to as Milennials, Generations Y and Z, and Digital Natives - are increasingly convinced that more assistance technologies will calm their nerves when driving.
Blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping systems and autonomous emergency braking figure among the technologies designed to reduce the potential for a serious accident on the road, but a significant number of survey respondents also highlighted a preference for new vehicles that are equipped with advanced parking assistance systems.
In particular, 65 percent of the 1000 surveyed motorists, aged 16 to 34, revealed a preference for parallel-parking assistance, while 70 percent are worried they won't avoid a nasty scrape in a tight spot.
“Research like this is important to Ford and other automotive brands because it informs us about the situations that cause consumers the most stress,” said Crystal Worthem, Ford brand marketing manager.
“As driver distraction and safety conversations have broadened, we are seeing what technology will help customers tackle their greatest fears.”
For now, only a limited number of models are equipped with the more advanced systems like autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and active park assist. But, between now and the year 2020, those systems will feature on more cars and, in many cases, will be fitted as standard equipment.
Among those standard-fit systems, in the US at least, will be rear-view cameras on all Ford models by the 2018.
New Front Camera Sees Around Corners
Joining those rear-facing cameras will be a new front camera system, announced today, that offers clearer view around corners at crowded intersections - rather than rolling forward and leaning over the steering wheel for a clearer view.
Ford expects to have that system available on all global SUV models by 2020.
As for Australia, we can likely expect these systems and goals to trickle down through the local range over the coming years, just as Ford’s new rear seatbelt airbags began life in the US-market Explorer SUV and can now be had with the top-spec Mondeo model in Australia.
Likewise, Active Park Assist is featured in the Titanium models across the Focus, Mondeo and Kuga lines, but more models should pick up that system in the future.
Autonomous Tech A Hit With Young Motorists
The ultimate safety system, autonomous driving, is also proving compelling to young motorists, with 52 percent of respondents preferring the idea of commuting in a self-driving car over the need to drive themselves.
A number of carmakers, along with tech giant Google, have revealed plans to have autonomous vehicles ready to go by the year 2020 - although none will be legally available until legislation for self-driving cars is in place.
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