Ford Experiments With In-Car Sensors To Predict Driver Behavior, Cut Stress


  • 2013 Ford Fusion

    2013 Ford Fusion

    The 2013 Ford Fusion is loaded with sensors and previews a future filled with smarter cars. | December 26, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Ford predicts that in-car sensors will be the next big thing in vehicles.
  • Biometric sensors will measure the stress level of the driver and help to personalize driver-assist technologies, the automaker said.
  • The 2013 Ford Fusion previews the future, with 74 sensors that "can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are not readily visible from the driver's seat," Ford said.

DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford predicts that in-car sensors will be the next big thing in vehicles.

Biometric sensors will measure the stress level of the driver and help to personalize driver-assist technologies, the automaker said.

The 2013 Ford Fusion previews the future, with 74 sensors that "can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are not readily visible from the driver's seat," Ford said.

"Fusion features an unprecedented level of sensors for its driver-assist technologies," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technical officer, in a statement.

Ford said it is researching the use of real-time sensor data — both radar and camera-based — that can help to evaluate external factors affecting driver attention, such as traffic congestion. The real-time sensor data can cut potential distractions, such as an incoming phone call.

Ford researchers are also looking at ways to predict driver behavior to "help optimize and configure vehicle controls for improved performance such as better energy management," the automaker said.

The automaker is also experimenting with "advanced machine learning." This technology is previewed in EV+, a feature found in the 2013 Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. It "learns" typical locations of charging and then "automatically maximizes electric-only driving mode when nearing those locations," the automaker noted.

Edmunds says: Your Ford vehicle keeps getting smarter and smarter. But does that give you comfort or concern?

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