It might not be a full-on self-driving car, but Ford’s new Mondeo is moving in that direction by packing technology that detects pedestrians in the road ahead and acts accordingly.
Named, appropriately enough, “Pedestrian Detection”, the system works via three simple steps: radar and camera equipment keeps a watchful eye out for people who are either already in front of the car or may cross its path; if people are detected, the driver is alerted by visual and audio warnings; and the brakes are automatically applied to reduce speed.
The idea is to avoid the sort of accidents that can occur when a driver is briefly distracted from the road ahead – an issue that, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, is becoming more and more common.
The new Mondeo has been described by Ford as “the most technically advanced Ford vehicle ever introduced in Europe”, and has other noteworthy features besides Pedestrian Detection. There’s also MyKey, which can restrict incoming phone calls as well as limit the car’s top speed and even totally disable the in-car audio system, as well as SYNC 2 connectivity system, which is detailed here.
It's a pretty exciting haul for a car once derided as the preferred steed of the grey polyester-suited middle management salaryman.