Ford recently released a list of safety systems available on a variety of Ford vehicles. Ford vehicles were awarded five Top Safety Pick awards by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the 2008 Ford Edge, 2008 Ford Taurus, 2008 Lincoln MKX, 2008 Mercury Sable, and 2008 Volvo XC90. The ten safety features mentioned by Ford include:
1. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - Electronic stability control reduces the risk of an accident by assisting the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle during emergency maneuvers. All Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury light cars and trucks will feature ESC technology by the end of 2009. ESC technology is currently available on all Ford mid- and full-size sport utility vehicles.
2. AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control) - AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control utilizes gyroscopic sensors to measure both yaw and roll. The system will automatically assist the driver in maintaining control and reducing the risk of rollover. This technology has been included on more than 1 million vehicles, and has been licensed to suppliers who will make the patented technology to other automakers.
3. Safety Canopy™ - The Safety Canopy system deploys side curtain airbags which automatically deploy during a rollover or side-impact accident. The technology has been in use since 2002 on select Ford and Mercury sport utility vehicles. The system is available on most Ford sport utility vehicles, vans, and cars. By 2010, all Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury light cars and trucks will have the Safety Canopy system as standard equipment.
4. BeltMinder™ - The BeltMinder system was first offered in 1999. The system chimes and flashes a warning light for six seconds every 30 seconds for five minutes or until the driver fastens their seatbelt. In IIHS studies, the BeltMinder technology increased seatbelt use by 5%. The technology has been so successful the BeltMinder system has been licensed to other automakers.
5. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) - Ford's Tire Pressure Monitoring System monitors tire pressure with a radio transmitter mounted inside each tire. When tire pressure exceeds a specified limit range, the system activates a warning light and message in message center equipped vehicles.
6. SPACE™ Architecture - Ford's SPACE Architecture includes crush zones in the body of the vehicle that direct energy away from passengers in the event of a collision. This "safety cage" design is built into the 2008 Ford Taurus and 2008 Mercury Sable.
7. Better Safety Ratings - In recent years, Ford vehicles have earned more top safety awards and ratings from the IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) than ever before.
8. Occupant Classification System - Ford's safety system in select vehicles includes advanced airbag controllers that classify the front passenger as a larger or smaller person. The system adjusts or suppresses the deployment of the airbag as necessary based on this information.
9. VIRTTEX and Servo Sled - The VIRTTEX (Virtual Test Track Experience) and Servo Sled (Servo-Hydraulic Reverse Crash Simulator) are research tools used by Ford to conduct safety and driving research in a controlled laboratory setting. The Servo Sled simulates real-world collisions without destroying the test vehicle. The benefit to consumers is that this technology allows Ford to bring advanced safety features to market quickly.
10. Adaptive Front Lighting - The Adaptive Front Lighting system is currently only available on the 2008 Lincoln MKX, but will undoubtedly be expanded to other Ford vehicles in the future. The lighting system features swiveling headlights, computer-optimized lighting, and adjustable angle headlights that compensate for vehicle load, acceleration and braking. The headlights also feature an electro-mechanical washing system that cleans headlight lenses.