Ford improves simulators to help driver safety

Today’s cars are loaded to the hilt with technology. Given modern vehicles’ built-in opportunities for driver distraction, not to mention society’s penchant for mobile-device use while motoring, it’s a wonder we get home safely at all. To that end, Ford has upgraded its Virttex virtual-reality machine to study driver performance in the pursuit of safety devices and driver-aid development.

The Virtual Test Track Experiment consists of a car cockpit surrounded by a dome connected to a hydraulic system that mimics vehicle movement. Ford can project scenarios onto the screens and study how drivers react to pedestrians, errant vehicles and a host of other dangers while driving. Weather and visibility problems can be programmed in as well, adding to the realism.

Technical advances tested in the Virttex have included the company’s Lane Keeping System and collision-warning technology, both of which are set to appear on Ford vehicles later this year.

Among other things, Ford uses the machine to test reaction times to different types of warnings. Forward-collision-warning systems were tested with audible, visual and tactile notifications to see which ones elicited the quickest response, alone or in combination. The distance before a warning chime kicks in was also studied in the Virttex. Ford says it’s an important part of making these systems possible.

“Virttex plays an integral role in helping us develop future safety and driver-assist technology, making it essential to keep the simulator current with the latest technology,” says Mike Blommer, technical lead for the lab. “Coupled with improvements in the resolution and brightness of the projection technologies, as well as improved imagery capabilities, we will be able to boost our capabilities to conduct active safety studies.”

One of the first driver studies in the Virttex measured a driver’s failure to detect safety-related events while performing manual tasks, like retrieving a voicemail on a cell phone. The study revealed a much higher level of distraction than when users were on a hands-free device. All Right Reserved.Back to Shopping on: Car DVD player car dvd player with GPS for Toyota Car DVD Player with GPS for Honda Car DVD Player with GPS for Hyundai Car PC Car DVD Players Headrest DVD Player Audi DVD Player BMW DVD Player Buick DVD Player Chevrolet DVD Player Citroen DVD Player Daihatsu DVD Player Ford DVD Player Fiat DVD Player GMC DVD Player Honda DVD Player Hyundai DVD Player Lexus DVD Player Kia DVD Player Mazda DVD Player Mercedes-Benz DVD Player Mitsubishi DVD Player Nissan DVD Player Opel DVD Player Peugeot DVD Player Skoda DVD Player Renault DVD Player Suzuki DVD Player Toyota DVD Player Volkswagen DVD Player Rear Camera

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