• Connected and Automated Technology Available Now

    This page contains a list of automated technologies currently available and offered by most manufacturers. Included in each technology is a description of the technology, as well as an educational video of the system.

    Active Lane Keeping Assist

    Active lane keeping assist systems were created to alert the driver if a vehicle is moving out of its lane, and if necessary, steer the vehicle back to the center of the lane. This centering is accomplished using a forward mounted camera to read the lines in the road and by adjusting vehicle direction through the electric power steering or by applying the brakes to one side of the car. These systems are currently developed for highway use and operate at speeds greater than 40-45 mph.


    Active Park Assist

    Active park systems allow cars to virtually park themselves. These systems are mostly used to parallel park and require radar systems around the vehicle as well as electric power steering rather than hydraulic. Once activated, the system will notify the driver to continue driving while it scans for a spot to park in. After a spot is found, it will then tell the driver to shift into reverse and to control the brake and accelerator as the car steers itself using the electric steering based off feedback from the radar. Once backed into the spot, the driver must drive forward (if necessary) and shift the vehicle into park. As the technology continues to evolve, new uses will become available.


    Adaptive/Active Cruise Control (plus stop and go)

    Adaptive/active cruise control works by adjusting a vehicle’s speed and distance from a vehicle ahead. This is done by using radar mounted on the front of the vehicle and adjusting its throttle and brakes to keep a preprogrammed distance from the vehicle ahead. If the vehicle ahead is moving slower than the programmed speed, then the vehicle will slow down to maintain the programmed distance. Once the vehicle ahead starts to move at or above the programmed speed, the adaptive cruise vehicle will speed up and continue to maintain the programmed distance and speed. Most of these systems operate from about 20 mph and above. However, some more advanced systems available on luxury cars can work in stop and go situations such as traffic jam.


    Adaptive Headlights

    Headlights can now respond to your surroundings, changing from high to low beam, and changing direction depending on traffic and terrain.


    Automatic Braking

    Automatic braking is a vehicle safety feature that can partially or completely stop the vehicle if it detects a potential collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Depending on the system, the automatic braking can completely apply the brakes and avoid the collision or partially apply the brakes to reduce the impact of the collision. These systems are most effective at speeds less than 50 mph. They use radar or laser sensors, camera(s), or a combination of these devices to detect collisions and potential threats. Most of these systems will precharge the brakes with pressure when a potential collision is detected and apply exactly the right brake pressure when the brake pedal is pressed to stop the vehicle, even if the driver tries to apply too little or too much pressure. Some systems will completely stop the vehicle if the driver fails to apply the brakes at all. Advanced systems are currently under development that reference GPS to apply the brakes when approaching a speed camera or stop sign and also use other sensors to read speed limit and stop signs to brake the vehicle in order to help the driver obey the law.


    Backup Assist

    Trailer Backup Assist is similar to active park assist, Ford’s new feature provides a hands-off solution to trailer reversing. In the case of trailer backup assist, however, the driver lets go of the steering wheel and uses a dashboard control knob to guide the trailer without the mental gymnastics of 'left to go right'.


    Blind Spot Detection

    The blind spot monitor is a vehicle-based sensor device that detects other vehicles located to the driver’s side and rear. Warnings can be visual, audible, vibrating or tactile. Blind spot monitors may include "Cross Traffic Alert," which alerts drivers backing out of a parking space when traffic is approaching from the sides.


    Cross Traffic Alert Systems

    Cross traffic alert systems use radar or other technology to detect approaching objects that you cannot see. Sensors are mounted on the rear bumper so they have a better vantage point to detect cross traffic than the driver.


    Forward Collision Warning

    A collision avoidance system is an automobile safety system designed to reduce the severity of a collision. Also known as precrash system, forward collision warning system, or collision mitigating system. It uses radar (all-weather) and sometimes laser and camera (both sensor types are ineffective during bad weather) to detect an imminent crash. Once the detection is done, these systems either provide a warning to the driver when there is an imminent collision or take action autonomously without any driver input (by braking or steering or both).

    Locate vehicles with some of these automated features.