In the past, lane departure warning systems have appeared solely on luxury vehicles, but Ford has decided to change this with the 2013 Fusion. Ford’s Lane Keeping System will detect driver drowsiness and help keep the vehicle from veering out of its current lane. The system will also be offered on the 2012 Ford Explorer.
Two components make up the Lane Keeping System: the digital camera behind the rear-view mirror and the computer that controls the electronic power steering rack. The digital camera scans the car’s movement on the road and detects when the car is veering out of its lane. If the car is moving out of its lane, the car will play an audible tone and a flashing light to alert the driver.
If the digital camera detects that the driver is drowsy, the system sounds an audible tone and vibrates the steering wheel. This is also when the system’s computer activates and actually steers the car back into its lane. A coffee cup icon on the instrument cluster also flashes when driver drowsiness is detected, to suggest that the driver pull over and rest.
Systems like Lane Keeping have been praised by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as critical safety features.