Moving autonomous mobility ever forward, Ford has just announced that it's nearing the final stages of development for its innovative Traffic Jam Assist technology.
By applying Ford's existing and effective Lane-Keeping Aid and Active Park Assist technologies to manage the vehicle's steering and acceleration, the next generation of Ford vehicles can navigate themselves through traffic and congestion.
A technology that Ford is working to perfect for the mid-term, the Traffic Jam Assist system utilizes radars and camera technology to allow a vehicle to navigate within a "school" of vehicles, automatically accelerating, decelerating and inputting steering as needed. Ford claims this technology can reduce driver stress and even improve the flow of traffic. While driver involvement is minimized, Ford's Traffic Jam Assist will also incorporate systems that ensure the driver remains alert and in control of the vehicle. Traffic Jam Assist allows instant override.
According to Ford Research engineer Joseph Urhahne, "Drivers spend more than 30 percent of their time in heavy traffic. Traffic jam Assist could help make traveling through congestion a more relaxing experience and, by keeping pace with the flow of traffic, potentially help relieve road congestion." Translating this breakthrough to an even greater picture, journey times can potentially be reduced by 37.5 percent and delays can be reduced by a significant 20 percent as well. All in all, this can save millions of gallons of fuel a year.
Ford Research chief technical officer and vice president Paul Mascarenas is excited to bring the new technology to production: "Developing these technologies is part of the first step in a journey toward a more connected future. It's an undertaking we believe will save time, conserve resources, lower emissions, improve safety and help reduce driver stress."
Intelligent driving aids are already available in the Ford Focus, Escape, and Fusion. What's more, according to LeftLaneNews, early prototypes of the Traffic Jam Assist system are already on the roads, Ford said.
To see the Traffic Jam Assist in action, check out Ford's demonstration video below: