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New Ford Tech Will Aid Drivers Park, Reduce Traffic Gridlock

Maker also seeks tech solution to driver distraction.

by on Jun.27, 2012

Ford Traffic Jam Assist system.

With Nevada already licensing prototype autonomous vehicles, automakers are racing to come up with new technology that can simplify the task of driving, maneuver through traffic and reduce the endemic problem of driver distraction.

At a preview of its 2013 line-up Ford also revealed some of the high-tech driver assistance systems it is hoping to introduce over the next several years, including one that could reduce traffic gridlock, another that simplifies the task of backing into a tight parking spot.

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“Developing these technologies is part of the first step in a journey toward a more connected future,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “It’s an undertaking we believe will save time, conserve resources, lower emissions, improve safety and help reduce driver stress.”


Ford Calls for Nationwide Handheld Cellphone Ban

But new study warns current bans having little to no impact.

by on Jul.13, 2011

Automakers and lawmakers alike appear to be growing increasingly concerned about distracted driving.

Ford Motor Co. has become the first automaker to openly call for a nationwide ban on the use of handheld cellular phones.

The maker’s unusually public pronouncement, which lent support to a measure now before Congress, comes as a new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association releases results of a new study on distracted driving.  It found that in 80 out of 100 car crashes studies the driver had turned away from the road at the time of impact.

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In particular, the GHSA study revealed that drivers are four times as likely to have a crash while using a handheld phone as those not talking while behind the wheel.  But the data also raised a note of caution about efforts to curtail distracted driving, reflecting recent studies finding that existing bans on the use of handheld phones already in place have had limited impact.

A proposal by NY Democrat Carolyn McCarthy would compel all 50 states to ban motorists from using handheld phones while driving.  And Pete Lawson, Ford’s Vice President of Government Affairs, has hailed that as a positive step.