Aachen, 28. June 2012 – ford is working on a traffic jam assistant that will make it possible in the future to let the car drive largely independently in traffic jams. This should bring more safety, but also save the driver from the nerve-racking stop-and-go operation. The traffic jam assistant is based in principle on acc (adaptive cruise control) and lane keeping assist, technologies that are already being used in production models. Another mandatory requirement is electromechanical steering so that the vehicle can automatically keep in lane.
Autonomous in traffic jams
Ford can imagine that the traffic jam assistant will be in use as of 2017. The fact that it is not faster is probably also due to the fact that it is a simple form of autonomous driving. Lack of function in a series product were in no way acceptable. A good precondition, however, is that the system is only used at low speeds, as is typical for traffic jams. In principle, the traffic jam assistant works like an adaptive cruise control system, but can slow the car down to a standstill and also accelerate it again automatically. In addition, the system recognizes the lane stripes and can independently maintain the lane based on them.
Ford does not specify how the system reacts if there are no lane markings on a piece of renewed road, but it does state that the driver is informed if conditions change. The driver can override the system at any time and no responsibility is taken away from the driver. The traffic jam assistant uses a camera, which is mainly responsible for lane detection, and a radar system, which measures the distance to the car in front. The sensor system and the evaluation of its signals are to be further developed in a number of respects – for example, it must be even better than today at recognizing when vehicles are pulling into a traffic jam in front of the driver’s own vehicle.
What is still missing …
For a traffic jam assistant to think beyond its own horizons, it must "think" car-to-car communication, e.G. Via wlan, was also needed. It could inform the vehicles about the current traffic flow over a rough route segment. This way, a congestion assistant could contribute to a steady pace of all vehicles equipped with it; vehicles without a congestion assistant would benefit from it as well.