Ford’s 2013 Fusion, which will debut next month at Detroit, will get an available lane departure warning system –a technology that warns drivers when the car drifts dangerously out of a lane.
While similar technology has previously been offered on some automobiles in the premium class, Octavio Navarro, a Ford spokesman, said in a telephone interview that the Fusion will be the first affordable non-luxury vehicle to offer this type of system.
According to the automaker, the system monitors a video feed from the windshield camera to detect solid and dotted lines and decide if the car is between them or not.
If the car wanders across those markers, the driver will feel a vibration in the steering wheel meant to simulate the feeling when driving over speed bumps.
If the driver doesn’t respond and continues to drift, an red icon will appear on the dash board and the vehicle will nudge the steering and the vehicle back toward the center of the lane.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes occur every year as a result of drowsy drivers, leading to 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
The Ford Explorer will also get the safety system in 2012. Compared with its midsize sedan competition, this piece of safety technology is pretty sophisticated for the category.