Ford Motor Co. will introduce what it is billing as the next level in automotive safety with the launch of the 2011 Explorer, a system the maker has dubbed “Curve Control.”
The technology is designed to go a step further than today’s electronic stability control, the maker says, allowing the vehicle to sense whether it is turning as much as the driver intends.
Curve Control is just one of a number of new systems debuting on what will be a very different vehicle than the classic Ford Explorer, a product that, two decades ago helped kick off the boom in sport-utility vehicle sales.
Curve Control is a sort of analog to stability control, according to Ford. That earlier system is designed to detect when a vehicle enters oversteer – counteracting what the average motorist would call a skid. The new system helps correct understeer, phenomenon most makers actually design into their products. That’s fine under most circumstances, but under aggressive driving or slick road conditions it can lead to a loss of control, with the vehicle sliding off the road.