Technology aims at preventing “dooring” accidents
The new technology uses a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which has been available for some time now and automatically detects cyclists and can initiate emergency braking. The sensors used for the BLIS are also used for the new exit warning function. The system analyses and understands movements of approaching bicycles or e-scooters, both on the driver’s and passenger side of the vehicle.
In addition to the existing warning LED in the exterior mirror, the new system now provides a further warning by means of a red LED strip along the interior door panel, which is visible to approaching road users when the door is opened. The engineers are also testing a new mechanism for the car door that temporarily prevents it from opening fully until the exit warning function detects that the passing road user has safely left the vehicle again.
Following in-house tests with drivers and cyclists, Ford engineers will also conduct customer surveys in the coming months. Among other things, the tests are intended to ensure that the technology fits the needs and habits of road users in the various markets, taking into account right- and left-hand drive vehicles and different road and lane configurations.
The company has also developed a virtual reality experience to help car and bicycle drivers gain a better understanding of each other. With so-called “WheelSwap” glasses, users can watch the sometimes hair-raising consequences of reckless driving. Initial studies show that almost all participants said after this experience that they would change their behaviour.