Sophisticated technologies designed to make the all-new Ford Focus driving experience more comfortable, less demanding and safer have been commended by the Euro NCAP independent crash test authority following its first ever automated driving assessment event, hosted by the ADAC mobility organisation in Penzing, Germany.
The Ford Focus, which earlier this year was awarded a 5-star safety rating by Euro NCAP, received recognition from the organisation as part of a new initiative designed to deliver a greater understanding among consumers of the benefits of advanced driver assistance technologies.
Focus was selected for testing after introducing a wider range of advanced driver assistance features than any Ford vehicle before, enabled by three radars, two cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies enhance protection, driving and parking.
Euro NCAP evaluated the Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring technologies available for Focus, which helps the vehicle maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead; helps reduce stress during long road trips by helping keep the vehicle centred in its lane; and can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system.
“The key challenge is developing systems that keep the driver informed of all situations and allow the driver to feel completely in control. The all-new Focus features a ‘co-pilot’ that has got your back, but never encourages you take your attention away from the task at hand,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, manager, Automated Driving, Ford of Europe, who also participated in a panel discussion at the event.
Tests conducted for the automated driving assessment event included evaluating vehicle responses when approaching slower-moving, stationary and braking vehicles, as well as responses to vehicles that cut in or out of traffic; steering support and lane re-centring when avoiding an obstacle in the road ahead; and steering support and lane-centring when driving through an S-bend.
The all-new Ford Focus was found to deliver a good balance between supporting the driver and enabling the driver to feel in full control of the vehicle, while also presenting little risk of the driver becoming over-reliant on the technologies.
Euro NCAP also assessed how effectively the Focus user manual explained the capabilities of the systems and the role of the driver during operation, and commended the Focus driver assistance technologies as simple and intuitive to engage.
“The Ford Focus delivers a very balanced package of driver assistance technologies, with the capability to make journeys safer, while also ensuring that the driver needs to remain alert and ready to take appropriate action in an emergency,” said Michiel van Ratingen Euro NCAP Secretary General.
Further sophisticated driver technologies designed to support all-new Focus customers include:
- Evasive Steering Assist, which uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead and provides steering support to enable drivers to manoeuvre around a vehicle if a collision is imminent
- Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, that can detect people in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path. The system automatically applies the brakes if it detects a potential collision and the driver does not respond to warnings; can also detect cyclists; and functions in the dark using light from the headlamps.
- Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with Predictive curve light and Sign-based light, which pre-adjusts headlamp patterns for maximum visibility before reaching a curve, junction or roundabout
The all-new Focus is on sale across Europe now in five-door hatchback, wagon and in selected markets four-door body styles, offered in a comprehensive model line-up that includes the stylish Focus Trend and Titanium, sporty Focus ST-Line, and the upscale Focus Vignale. The first Focus Active crossover will be available later this year.