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Ford Unveils Mechanism To Warn Of Crashes

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LOMBARD, Ill. (CBS) — Ford safety engineers set up crashes to show how technology can prevent them, during demonstrations in the Yorktown Center mall parking lot in Lombard.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, safety engineer Peter Hardigan outlined the scenario — the driver has the right of way, but coming up from the right is a car, hidden behind a corner and about to blow its red light.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

“They were about to blow through a stop sign and a stoplight – we’ll get the warning,” Hardigan said as the demonstration began. “It’s shown as a green light on the display, and as we accelerate we’ll get the warning that there’s a car coming. Don’t hit him.”

The research Fords have onboard cameras, radar, GPS and wi-fi so the cars can talk to each other before collisions occur, says Ford chief technology officer Paul Mascarenas.

He says this means the driver’s vehicle knows another car is dead ahead over a hill or coming up from blind spots behind, and provides sufficient warning for a safe stop.

Mascarenas says some of these safety sensors could be installed in cars in three to five years. But he says more work is needed before Ford would let the computer take over the braking from the driver because computers can be hacked which could create, instead of solve safety problems.

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