Most driver assistance technology focuses on those seconds just before a crash. Ford's new post-collision braking feature is designed to work after.
The technology, developed in-house by Ford engineers, moderately applies the brakes after a crash so the vehicle stops rolling and avoids a potential second accident. The vehicle knows to trigger the brakes by interacting with the restraints module, including whether an airbag is deployed or if the fuel cutoff switch is activated.
"This is a feature we hope customers never have to utilize," said Chris Billman, Ford's global driver assist technologies manager.
Ford debuted the technology as standard on its 2019 Edge crossover, which went on sale last fall. The automaker now intends to add post-collision braking to future vehicles but has not specified which ones.
The system is part of a suite of features that includes pre-collision assistance. Another feature, called evasive steering assist, uses radar and a camera to detect a potential crash and helps turn the wheel faster so the car swerves. But engineers identified a need to add technology that would help in case all the others either didn't work or a crash was unavoidable.