Ford targets stress factor

A recent Ford-commissioned survey of 5,500 commuters in major European cities found that commuting by car to work can be more stressful than work itself.

Being stuck in a traffic jam can be tiring, stressful and tedious but that is exactly what drivers in Europe do for 30 hours every year on average. Ford is currently developing a technology that could make driving in congestion less stressful.

Ford Traffic Jam Assist assists the driver by keeping the vehicle centred in the lane and brakes and accelerates to keep pace with the vehicle in front of it. The system is among a range of semi-autonomous driver assistance technologies that Ford is developing.

Traffic Jam Assist, activated at the push of a button when a traffic jam is encountered, identifies the position of vehicles in front using a grille-mounted radar; and the location of lane markings using a front-facing camera behind the windscreen.

‘For many drivers, experiencing heavy traffic on the way to work can leave them stressed and angry, even before the work day begins. Traffic Jam Assist helps the driver maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead and helps to keep the vehicle centred in the lane. The system aims to reduce driver stress in dense,’ said Reid Steiger, technical expert, Automated Driving, Ford of Europe.

This year Ford announced Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data, while making millions of people’s lives better.

Further semi-autonomous technology systems that Ford is developing include technologies that help drivers stay centred in their lane, a cruise control system that enables drivers to easily resume their desired speed even after the vehicle has come to a complete stop, and a remote control parking system.