Cars are increasingly turning into vehicles for fancy tech gadgets. In keeping with that trend, the 2013 Ford Explorer will let drivers know when they’re drifting into another lane and use corrective steering to keep them on track.
In a separate system, parents of teenagers can also use Ford's MyKey feature (that already enables them to limit the speed at which their kids drive) to block mobile calls (if the phone is synced with the car's MyFordTouch infotainment system) while the teenager’s car is in motion, mute music until occupants have buckled up, limit volume on the audio system and block adult satellite radio channels.
To avoid crashes that occur when drowsy drivers drift away from their lanes, Ford is using a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror to examine lane markers and keep track of when a driver drifts outside course. A vibration in the steering wheel, a coffee cup image on the dash board and a warning sound will inform drivers to get back in the lane.
If the driver continues to veer off course, a louder, more urgent sound will play.
Of course, Ford’s system is limited to areas where lane markers are clearly marked and completely visible – but given that two out of five drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel according to the AAA, any additional safety features are worthwhile.
And for those worried about their cars doing too much, the feature is optional and can be turned off.
The technologies will be introduced in the Explorer early next year and will eventually be available on all Ford vehicles.
Via Detroit News