Part of an ever-evolving industry where Safety is a central concern, Ford is developing new intelligent driver alert systems that can even detect bicycle bells and even pedestrian footsteps!
Elements, nowadays, essential, for a greater safety of all the intervenients that circulate in the road, the alerts to the driver are, nowadays, considered almost essential in the cars of today.
However, it is also true that the technological solutions in place continue to show some aspects that can be improved. reason why the Ford is currently testing a new intelligent in-car sound system technology, capable of transmitting, more clearly, the location of other road users, and even pedestrians.
Part of this technology is the use of intuitive sounds, such as footsteps, bicycle bells and the noise of vehicles in motion, rather than a single sound source warning of all these situations.
According to the blue oval brand, the initial tests already carried out showed that drivers who used the Directed Audio Alert technology were significantly more accurate in identifying potential hazards and their respective position.
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“The warning sounds used today are already effective in informing drivers when they need to be more careful and vigilant,” says SYNC and Enterprise Connectivity Software Engineer at Ford of Europe, Oliver Kirsten, adding that “the technology of the future could alert us to both the danger and its origin.
As for the operation of this new technology, Ford explains that the system, which can offer both visual and audible alerts, and can even apply emergency braking, uses a set of sensors capable of identifying both pedestrians, cyclists and others. vehicles in the vicinity.
The information collected by these sensors is then processed by a software developed by the North American brand itself, which selects the appropriate sound and reproduces it through the loudspeaker closest to the obstacle.
Furthermore, tests carried out by the manufacturer, in a simulated environment, will have shown that, in 74 percent of the time, drivers alerted by the Directed Audio Alert were able to correctly identify the nature and source of the danger. So, even when alerted through a normal sound, but through the appropriate loudspeaker, 70 percent of drivers were able to correctly identify the location of the object.
The engineers also created a real scenario, in a test circuit, with a vehicle backing out of a parking space, a pedestrian approaching and the Directed Audio Alert alerting the driver, through the sound of footsteps. With drivers responding positively, in particular, when played through a specific loudspeaker.
Evolution is to continue
Meanwhile and in the future, Ford engineers believe it is possible to improve these results, namely through the use of 3D spatial sound, similar to that used in cinemas and electronic games. This, in order to allow drivers to better identify the source of the danger.