Ford develops new technology to stop cars reversing out on cyclists and other road users

Optional system prevents careless drivers from cutting you up

For many cyclists, having to navigate around maneuvering cars is an everyday hazard, and yet it’s one that could get a whole lot safer thanks to a new technology making its way onto several of Ford’s latest cars.

Cross Traffic Alert works in a similar way to reverse parking sensors, using a series of radar monitors to scan the area behind the vehicle. The difference with Ford’s system is that it will also track moving objects in an intelligent way and alert a driver if it detects a crossing cyclist, pedestrian, car or motorcyclist. 

The system isn’t entirely new, but the fact the car can intervene is. That's because — should the driver ignore the system’s warning — the car will take control of the situation and apply the brakes for the driver. Cross Traffic Alert With Braking is part of an optional blind spot information system (BLIS) that new Ford owners can spec to their cars. 

Ford Cross Traffic Alert With Braking

Although we aren’t necessarily keen on drivers relying on tech such as this, in today’s world of distracted drivers and cars with poor visibility this can surely only be a good thing.

Ford still takes second place behind Volvo when it comes to the safety of cyclists on our roads. The Swedish car manufacturer was the first to come up with a radar-based cyclist detection system back in 2013. Unlike the Ford system, Volvo’s take on this technology looks ahead of the vehicle as it drives, but otherwise acts in the same way.

Impressively, it is now standard on all Volvo cars and is currently being developed on trucks and coaches sold by the firm. Also worth a mention is Jaguar Land Rovers' clever Bike Sense detection technology which uses light, sound and touch to help alert drivers to cyclists and prevent accidents.

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