Feeds

Ford touts tech to bottle up traffic jams

Caveat: requires perfectly marked, cyclist-free roads

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Ford today promised to help motorists keep moving through heavy traffic, but the caveats it's applying to its prototype mean we won't be jam free for quite some time.

Appropriately dubbed "Traffic Jam Assist", the technology Ford was keen to tout today uses radar and cameras to track other vehicles and road markings while taking control of your own car to keep it on the move and in lane.

It's a great idea. In busy traffic, you sit back and relax while the car keeps going, timing gear changes, acceleration and braking more quickly and more appropriately than you can. All you're needed for a lane changes and turnings.

Roll it on, we say.

And then we read that Traffic Jam Assist can do all this only "in environments where there are no pedestrians, cyclists or animals, and where lanes are clearly marked." Even then, it only has "the potential" to make a difference.

Clearly marked lanes? That's a heck of a lot of British roads, major ones among them, we can rule out then. Chuck in the 'no cyclists' caveat, and that's all the remaining urban roads out too.

In any case, unless World+Dog is all driving Fords, someone in the train will be operating on manual and will screw it all up. In short, this kind of technology is great, but only if everyone has it.

Still, you can't fault Ford for trying. A much more useful technology, which it also pitched today, is a revision of its automatic reverse parallel parking feature, Park Assist, that adds perpendicular parking to its repertoire of manoeuvres.

The driver controls the vehicle's speed while the car steers itself back into the slot, hopefully allowing sufficient room for passengers to open the doors and get out. If not, there's always Ford's Door Edge Protector system, which flips out a rubber pad to stop you damaging the car next to you.

All good stuff, and all of its based on technology Ford is already building into some of its cars. Alas, though, it couldn't say when these extra features might be added too. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?