For V2X, Ford relies on the cloud
The new Ford Puma, soon to be launched on the market, detects obstacles on the road and reports them to a cloud system in the backend. LHI is intended to help drivers to recognise dangers at an early stage and avoid them if possible. If drivers in front encounter sudden traffic jams, accidents or weather-related obstacles, the following drivers – who may not yet have a view of what is happening – are warned in advance. The warnings are triggered automatically by the car in front as soon as the onboard electronics have detected a problem via various sensors. These include the traction control system activation, the fog lights being switched on, emergency braking or the airbags being deployed. Switching on the hazard warning lights also triggers such a warning message. LHI works automatically, so the driver does not have to become active to issue warnings.
The warnings are currently transmitted to the back end via LTE mobile radio networks. As soon as available, 5G will also be used for this purpose, Ford announced. The warnings will be processed by a cloud-based system. For the time being, it is unclear who will operate this system; Ford just let it be known that she does not operate the system himself. The warnings will also be made available via this system to interested third parties, i.e. vehicle manufacturers or service providers. In this way, Ford wants to create the possibility of a wider and cross-brand distribution. The system is “in principle open to any manufacturer who offers a similar system in their vehicles,” explained a Ford spokesperson. “The added value of this technology lies precisely in the fact that as many vehicles from different manufacturers as possible communicate with each other via swarm intelligence”.
Such warnings are also made possible by accessing data from the map data services provider HERE Technologies, which provides information from local authorities and emergency services, as well as other road users connected to the cloud. This includes information about accidents, road works, broken down vehicles, pedestrian and animal hazards, and critical road conditions out of sight. Potential dangers are indicated via the dashboard display – and only if these dangers affect the driver’s own route.
The Local Hazard Warning feature is activated via the FordPass Connect modem and is free for the first year after you buy a new Ford Puma. Customers can decide which data they want to share.
With the LHI system, Ford is adding another variant to the universe of V2X communication. Volkswagen’s Golf VIII model, which has been on sale since last autumn, is also equipped with automatic radio communication for transmitting obstacles and danger spots; however, VW works with a system based on direct radio links between the cars and does not send any messages to the back end.
A video explaining the system can be found here: https://youtu.be/Lwi554u9_z8