Following the mainstream success of automatic emergency braking (AEB), Ford is developing a system that quickens steering in an emergency

Ford is currently working on a system that speeds up the steering in an emergency if there isn’t enough room for the car to avoid a collision under braking alone.

The system is called ‘evasive steering assist’, and activates in a similar way to autonomous emergency braking (AEB), by using radar and a camera to detect the car’s rate of deceleration in relation to the car in front, deciding if there is enough room for the car to stop in time and avoid a collision, and then quickening the steering to allow the driver to swerve out of the way more easily.

Read more: Ford announces joint autonomous push with JLR, Tata

Evasive steering assist only intervenes if the driver decides to take evasive action, meaning that unlike automatic emergency braking systems, the car will not act of its own accord.

Ford’s automatic driving and brake controls technical expert, Peter Zegelaar, explained: “As soon as the driver tries to steer around a slower car in an emergency, evasive steering assist activates to help execute the evasive manoeuvre by making it easier to perform quick steering movements.”

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Ford is also developing a system designed to stop drivers entering the motorway in the wrong direction; essentially a development of traffic sign recognition systems already in many vehicles. Another extension of this system is being worked on by Ford, which will alter the width of the headlight beam at junctions and roundabouts, in reaction to traffic signs. 

Ford today announced a spate of technological developments of this kind, including its own cross traffic alert system – an application which alerts the driver of approaching traffic when they're reversing that they may not be able to see. There's also enhanced active park assist, which parks the car autonomously, meaning the driver does not need to touch any controls when parking. 

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3

3 November 2016
I have images of the car swerving to avoid a rear end with a car and have a head on crash with a lorry instead, I just hope the system is good enough to plan that far ahead.

3 November 2016
Most people, in an emergency, don't really know what to do. Most just panic and slam on the brakes. Quickening the steering won't help, it's just something else to go wrong.

Citroëniste.

3 November 2016
I hope they test this well as the first thing I thought of was the last thing I need the controls of the car to do in an emergency is to suddenly change the way they respond.

Now, instead of avoiding the surprise obstacle, you will drive right through the central reservation, across the oncoming traffic and up the other bank thanks to suddenly oversensitive steering.

I'm being facetious, but you can see the risks.

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Ford tops its range line-up with an Americanised, big Ford for the 21st century. But can it make a large enough impact to upset its premium rivals?

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