Modern vehicles can be equipped with tons of incredible safety technology. In the 2018 model year, reverse cameras are almost standard equipment. Of course, that’s thanks in large part to requirements of the IIHS. Regardless, it’s no longer prohibitively expensive to load up a car with more sensors than the International Space Station. But, like the kit aboard the International Space Station, mastering your new Ford safety tech isn’t easy. Don’t worry, I’m here to show you the ropes.
BLIS is a central part of the Ford safety tech lineup. BLIS, a liberal acronym for “Blind Spot Information System,” alerts drivers when a vehicle is currently occupying space in one of their blind spots. The blind spots are to the left and right of the rear panels on traditional passenger vehicles. If your Ford is equipped with BLIS, it will automatically activate when you begin driving above 5km/hr. When a vehicle is occupying a blind spot on one side of your vehicle, a yellow alert symbol will appear on the corresponding side-view mirror. You can deactivate BLIS with your information display. However, it cannot be disabled when Ford MyKey is in use.
Cross-Traffic Alert is included with Ford’s BLIS technology. It automatically activates when you switch your vehicle into reverse (R). When you do so, the system scans for vehicles approaching the rear of your Ford. Obviously, Cross-Traffic Alert is useful for navigating busy parking lots or pulling out of a driveway onto the street. Your sensors will provide 14 metres of coverage, and will work best when you reverse slowly. Like BLIS, Cross-Traffic Alert indicates vehicles approaching from the side with a yellow alert symbol on the corresponding mirror.
Ford is also equipping many of their new vehicles with technology designed to help you stay in your lane. For the most part, Ford’s lane keeping system uses a camera mounted behind the rear view mirror to scan road markings. Then, it alerts you when you start to drift out of your lane. Lane keeping only becomes active when you’re driving above 64km/hr.
The system has multiple modes including alert mode, aid mode, alert + aid mode. In alert mode, when the system detects you have left your lane, the steering wheel will vibrate until you return to the appropriate position on the road. In aid mode, the system will correct your steering automatically (with steering torque input) so that you never leave the correct position on the road. Additionally, the system will also issue an alert if you take your hands off of the wheel for an extended period of time. The intensity of these
Lane-keeping systems can be turned off when desired. But this is accomplished differently in different Ford vehicles, so consult your owner’s manual for instructions. Additionally, the system will be disabled temporarily if you brake or accelerate quickly, use your turn signal, or maneuver aggressively.
Ford has also begun offering forward collision warning with brake support on its new vehicles. The name explains things pretty clearly, but, for the sake of clarity, the technology scans the road for vehicles and alerts you if you’re about to crash into one. The alert is a series of red symbols on the windshield and an audible alarm. If you do not alter your course, or slow down, the system will pre-charge the brakes. Obviously, this is a practical and potentially life-saving feature. But you should note that the system does not apply the brakes automatically.
To alter the sensitivity of forward collision warning, use the five-way selector on your Ford’s steering wheel. Scroll to Driver Assist > Collision Warning > Sensitivity, then select either High, Normal, or Low. Ford recommends using high sensitivity. But if you’re an attentive driver, or a tailgater, you may want to turn the sensitivity down. Note that the system will not detect people, objects, or oncoming vehicles in the same lane.
Need help using any more of your Ford’s technology? Drop a comment below or stop by Capital Ford Lincoln today and ask one of our certified technicians.