March 21, 2017—Ford recently announced plans to launch technology that will automatically brake vehicles for pedestrians in the dark. The new Pedestrian Detection system will officially launch in Europe, with the next-generation Ford Fiesta. Soon after, the technology will be available as an option for the 2018 Ford Mustang and F-150 in the U.S.
Ford initially tested the technology at night in Europe, as well as on closed tracks. The system checks what the vehicle’s camera sees against a database of pedestrian-like shapes. The camera takes more than 30 frames per second.
So far, the system isn’t yet able to detect deer, or other animals. The pedestrian detection technology will first warn the driver, before automatically braking the Ford vehicle itself.
According to Ford, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently found that 75 percent of pedestrian-vehicle collisions happened at night.