• SAFETY FIRST

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    The Ford Focus demonstrating its Active City Stop feature that automatically stops the car if it senses the driver will not be able to react on time.

    The Ford Focus demonstrating its Active City Stop feature that automatically stops the car if it senses the driver will not be able to react on time.

    Ford hypes tech, pushes for improved driving practices in new campaign

    TO promote safe driving habits and to show how it prioritizes safety in its vehicles, Ford Phils. recently launched its “Caring for Tomorrow” campaign, which also highlighted some of the brand’s new driver assistance functions.

    Ford Phils. Managing Director Kay Hart said that with the new campaign, Ford is helping drivers to make better choices.

    “With the launch of Caring for Tomorrow, we are hoping to engage Filipinos in a conversation about safer driving to help them make better choices for themselves and their loved ones,” Hart said.

    Pete Hardigan, Ford Asia Pacific’s director of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, said that the brand is a pioneer in “implementing technologies” and is “committed to providing safe vehicles” around the globe.

    “We are going further to develop innovative safety technologies and to make them accessible and affordable,” Hardigan said. “Our engineers are putting themselves in consumers’ shoes and developing features and technologies that make the on-road experience safer and smarter,” he added.

    During the campaign’s launch, participants took on various activities and learned the safety and driver-assistance features of Ford vehicles. They were able to experience various tools such as the “empathy belly” and the “third age suit,” which helped Ford engineers to understand the needs of customers with specific mobility restrictions. Both worn over the body, the empathy belly simulates a woman’s nine-month pregnant belly while the third age suit mimics an elderly person’s difficulty in moving.

    The event’s attendees were also taught to use the Ford Sync, which allows drivers to use a vehicle’s various audio and communication functions while their hands stay on the steering wheel and their eyes keep to the road. The system also integrates an adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead.

    Ford Phils. also explained how the MyKey function—an industry-first technology—in their vehicles work to set speed limits and radio volume, as well as prevent the deactivation of a car’s other safety features. The MyKey feature even disables the radio when seatbelts are left unfastened. The feature is designed so parents can monitor and control their teenage children’s driving habits.

    Visitors at the launch program were also taken behind the wheel to personally experience Ford’s Active City Stop feature that help prevents rear-end collisions by automatically applying the brake if it senses that the driver will fail to stop in time, and the Active Park Assist, which lets the car automatically steer itself into a parallel-parking space.

    The campaign’s tour showed how Ford engineers are developing new and innovative ways to stay safe. Pim van der Jagt, European Ford Research Center’s managing director and global vehicle dynamics, driver assistance and active safety systems technical director, said that even before there was a demand, Ford engineers have already been brainstorming on safety technologies that “won’t be seen for another 10, 15 or 20 years.”

    “We are developing the safety and smart innovations of tomorrow and making them accessible to our customers. We are not just making smarter and safer vehicles, but also contributing to a better future,” he explained.

    In a presentation, Ford said its vision is to develop vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.

    “In the coming years, we may see more services based on two-way V2V communication systems, allowing cars to communicate with each other about driving and traffic conditions, even when they are out of sight of each other. In the longer term, we hope to see widespread use of V2I systems, allowing cars to talk to infrastructure and management systems. The result could be safer roads, improved mobility, reduced emissions and fuel consumption,” Jagt said.

    To end the launch event, participants were invited to take a safety pledge as individuals taking responsibility in keeping Philippines roads safe. Hart said that besides safe vehicles, practicing good driving habits is where road safety starts.

    “With the safety pledge, and by emphasizing safety through our various programs including Driving Skills for Life, we’re working hard to make the roads safer for Filipinos,” she noted.

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