Ford’s latest innovations go from next-gen driver assist tech to a self-loading electric wheelchair image

The US automaker decided to offer a glimpse at the innovations going around inside the Ford European Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany – and we have interesting things to report from there.

Among the next generation driver assist technologies on show, we noticed the cross-traffic alert with braking technology – which is developed to detect people and objects about to pass behind the vehicle, providing a warning to the driver and then automatically braking if there’s no response. Linked to the idea of reducing the stress of parking is also the new rear wide-view camera, on the in-car display, which can deliver an alternative wide-angle view of the rear of the vehicle or the enhanced active park assist which can also parallel or perpendicular park at the push of a button. There are also other new technologies that can help drivers steer around other vehicles to help avoid high speed collisions, and to warn drivers from travelling the wrong way down motorways. All of them are expected to appear on the new Ford vehicles in the next couple of years.

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“We’ve all become accustomed to the challenges of driving, but it remains one of the most demanding tasks most of us perform day in, day out,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Chassis & Safety Electronics, Ford of Europe. “Technology is already proving its potential to help make driving less stressful – and Ford’s investment in research and development is paying off by accelerating innovation to expand our portfolio of driver-assist technologies”

Other interesting innovations included three shortlisted from over 600 electric pedestrian assistant devices that were showcased in the Ford Global Mobility Challenge – the Carr-E electric rideable platform, the TriCiti folding electric tricycle, and the eChair self-loading electric wheelchair.