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Blind Spot Mirror, Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitoring System
Three ways to see what couldn't be seen

The Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System utilizes radar to alert of cross-path traffic while in reverse and, in forward gears, warns when a vehicle enters the blind spot.

MT, PR, 19 April 2008.

Dearborn, Mich. USA: Ford will launch next year two new features, the Blind Spot Mirror and the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind-Spot Monitoring System, to help increase drivers’ visibility.

The Blind Spot Mirror helps to increase drivers visibility as they change lanes or parallel park. The affordable mirror technology will first launch early next year and find its way onto many future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as standard equipment. They join other safety features at Ford, such as the Ford's Personal Safety System and the Space Architecture design (see lower two graphics).

The Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System is a radar-based blind spot detection system with the additional capability to help customers back out of a parking space even when there is traffic approaching from the sides.

The optional radar-based system will join the Ford portfolio of innovative technologies in 2009 and quickly migrate through the model lineup.

Blind Spot Mirror arrives as standard equipment replacing traditional side view mirrors and features an integrated convex spotter mirror aimed directly at the vehicle’s blind spot. Blind Spot Mirror provides a seamless, more appealing solution than present aftermarket offerings, as it uses one continuous glass surface.

Blind Spot Mirror: Ford’s push to develop the Blind Spot Mirror and migrate it across its lineup is a direct response to customer research, reports Kelly Kohlstrand with Ford’s Advanced Product Marketing and Technology Planning team. “We seek to plan new features that address unmet customer needs,” says Kohlstrand. “Customers told us that... they specifically desired a more effective outside rearview mirror.”

Early drive clinics conducted by Ford show that the Blind Spot Mirror connects with customers -- nearly 76 percent of the participants said the mirror improves their confidence while driving. In addition, the learning curve or adjustment to the function of the spotter mirror was minimal.
The Blind Spot Mirror is a consumer-friendly, affordable blind spot solution that consists of an outside rearview mirror designed with a secondary convex spotter in the top outer corner, which is aimed exclusively at the driver's blind spot. When traffic enters the driver’s blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, thus alerting the driver of potential danger.

Ford's Personal Safety System consists of a suite of technologies, including dual-stage front air bags and occupant weight classification, working together to help protect the driver and right-front passenger in the event of a moderate to severe frontal collision.

Ford's Side Protection and Cabin Enhancement architecture (SPACE) was first introduced on the Ford Taurus and will be standard on the all-new Ford Flex. It is designed to help channel crash forces using strategically placed steel rails and square tubes under the car body, the vertical door posts ("B-pillars"), in between the front and rear seats, and in the front diagonal posts ("A-pillars"). The rails are designed to bend and the tubes compress in a severe crash. This creates 10 different crush zones in different parts of the car to help channel crash forces away from the occupants inside.

Ford’s Blind Spot Mirror provides a seamless, more appealing solution than present aftermarket offerings, as it uses one continuous glass surface and is robust to the elements. Because the factory spotter mirror is uniquely and specifically designed for the vehicle – car or truck – it provides an optimized field of view.

Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System: Backing out of a crowded spot in a bustling parking lot, or into street traffic, can be difficult. Drivers sometimes inch their way out with limited visibility on either side, counting on cross traffic to see their vehicle. 

Ford’s new Cross Traffic Alert feature will assist drivers in backing up by warning drivers of impending traffic while backing out. The feature works in conjunction with Ford’s radar-based Blind Spot Monitoring System, utilizing this system’s two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels – one per side.

The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.

Cross Traffic Alert uses the radar when in reverse to pick up moving objects within a 65-foot range (19.8 metres) from either the left or right side of the vehicle. The radar also works when backing out of angled parking spaces because its view is wider than just strictly sensing traffic coming at a 90-degree angle.

Conventional systems have limited sideways effectiveness. When cross traffic is approaching, two warnings are given: an indicator lights up in the corresponding outside mirror and an audible alert is sounded.

The Blind Spot Mirror and Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System will join a portfolio of vehicle parking and back-up aids presently offered by Ford, including the Reverse Sensing System and the Rear View Camera.

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