New Ford video tech helps drivers see around corners

Ford is introducing a new camera technology that can see around corners, even when drivers cannot, to help avert accidents.

The innovative Front Split View Camera -available as an option on the all-new Ford Galaxy and S-MAX – displays a 180-degree view from the front of the car, using a video camera in the grille. At a blind junction or exiting a driveway, the camera enables drivers to easily spot approaching vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.

‘It’s not just blind junctions that can be stressful, sometimes an overhanging tree, or bushes can be the problem,’ said Ronny Hause, engineer, Driver Assistance Electronic Systems, Ford of Europe. ‘Simply driving off driveways can be a challenge. Much like a rear-view camera, Front Split View Camera is one of those technologies that people will soon find indispensable.’

The first-in-segment technology is activated at the push of a button. A 1-megapixel camera in the front grille enables drivers to see a real-time 180-degree view – both left and right – on the vehicle’s eight-inch colour touchscreen. Drivers can track road users that approach on either side and pass in front of the vehicle. The camera, just 33mm wide, is kept clear by a specially designed retractable jet-washer that operates automatically when the windscreen wipers are activated.

Data recorded by the European Road Safety Observatory SafetyNet project indicated that approximately 19 per cent of drivers involved in accidents at junctions experienced obstructions to view.

‘From sunrise to sunset we tested the Front Split View Camera on all kinds of roads, congested urban streets and areas with a lot of cyclists and pedestrians,’ Ronny said. ‘Tackling tunnels, narrow alleys and garages in all light conditions also meant we could ensure the technology worked well even when sunlight was shining directly into the camera.’

Ford models including the all-new Galaxy and S-MAX already offer Rear View Camera technology; and Cross Traffic Alert system, which uses rear-mounted sensors to warn drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them.