GITEX: Ford Showcases Array of Driver Assist Technologies

By on October 15, 2012
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Because driving isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B anymore.

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Having a car nowadays isn’t just a matter of getting from Point A to Point B. Technology has advanced so rapidly in the last few years that drivers now expecting much more than that with their cars, especially in terms of functionality that will assist them on the road. Ford has a few surprises for drivers that are looking for that and showed exactly that at GITEX.

Participating in GITEX Technology Week as the official automotive partner for the fifth straight year, Ford Middle East is showcasing a host of its latest Driver Assist Technologies, and giving exclusive glimpses of intelligent, next generation innovations being researched by Ford Labs as part of the company’s commitment to aiding drivers through technology. Additionally, show visitors can experience the brand new, tech-laden 2013 Taurus and the super performance Taurus SHO – dubbed as Ford’s smartest sedans.

“GITEX is such a great opportunity for visitors to see the exciting and innovative technology inside Ford vehicles, and this year they’re able to use the most stimulating and spectacular ways to find out more about how Ford is going further to revolutionise the driving experience, both on the stand and at our expanded outdoor test drive arena,” said Paul Anderson, Ford Middle East’s Marketing director.

One of the men behind many of the current and developing Driver Assist Technologies – especially those with a safety aspect – is also attending GITEX having made his way from Detroit for the show to provide unique insights into Ford’s dedication to developing driver aids and safety technologies. Dr. Saeed Barbat, Ford Motor Company’s Executive Technical Leader for Safety, Research and Advanced Engineering, is a key figure in the research and development of many of the technologies found in Ford’s vehicles today, having been with Ford for 20 years.

Dr. Barbat has worked tirelessly in pursuit of developing technologies which have become intrinsic to Ford’s vehicle safety features, and is the holder of 13 issued and 12 filed U.S. patents. He has also received numerous industry awards recognising his efforts and achievements.

His area of focus during GITEX is introducing the unique Biometric Seat that Ford’s research team is using to test a number of different sensors and gather data on how drivers respond to a variety of inputs for a driver behavior model.

The experimental system consists of early stage development technology as part of Ford’s ongoing research into driver wellness and stress levels, and monitors driver wellbeing by monitoring temperature levels, heart rate, respiration and other key indicators of stress which could hamper a driver’s ability to control their vehicle.

“Ford has been a leader in delivering solutions for in-car communications and simplifying the user interface, and now we’re researching ways to use the car’s own intelligence to further help drivers,” said Barbat. “Vehicle control inputs, sensors, road conditions and biometric information such as a driver’s pulse and breathing can all be used to create a driver workload estimation that can then help manage certain functions in demanding situations.

“In addition to using existing vehicle data to estimate demand on the driver, we’re researching ways to get an even better understanding of the stress level of the driver,” he explained. “Biometric or health information of the driver can help us better tailor the experience when behind the wheel.”

In addition to Dr. Barbat’s insights, visitors to the Ford stand at GITEX are being met by a host of interactive ways to get to know Ford’s latest Driver Assist Technologies, including spectacular and involving augmented reality and 3D visuals by Ogle, where visitors can use their smart phones to find out more about the workings of technologies such as Active Park Assist, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Hands-on Technology

Ford Middle East is this year enabling people to get more hands-on than ever in order to explore the vehicles and their technology. For GITEX, Ford is a launch partner of Ogle, who is introducing its augmented reality experience at the show. Visitors to the Ford stand can use this technology on their iOS or Android-equipped smartphones by downloading the app then using it at various points around the stand and the outdoor plaza to access exclusive video content about Ford technologies and the model line-up at the show, all through their phone screen.

Visitors to the plaza area will also be able to test drive the new 2013 Taurus, as well as the Edge, Explorer and Focus, getting a real feel for the latest Ford innovations available on these models. The arena gives an experience of features including Active Park Assist, BLIS® with Cross Traffic Alert, as well as SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, and there will be more points to use the Ogle augmented reality app to discover information about these cars.

Anderson added: “Being able to experience these technologies in such a hands-on way is simply the best way for customers to really understand how these features and innovations can enhance the driving experience and even help reduce stress and fatigue at the end of the day.

“This has been key to why we’ve embraced GITEX for five years – it’s a great way for customers to really understand how Ford Motor Company sees technology as being integral to the future of motoring, how it is anticipating, innovating and offering compelling solutions, going further so our customers can,” he concluded.

The Ford Middle East stand is located in Hall 7, stand D7-10 at GITEX Technology Week, Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18th. The show is open 11:00am until 7:00pm, except on Thursday 18th, closing at 5:00pm.


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Filmmaker and film writer. An ironically strange combination. Follow his tweets on @faisalhashmi for his escapades in film.

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