Ford's all-new Mondeo can see people in the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes if the driver fails to react to warning signals.
It's just one part of a package of high-tech features for Ford's reboot of one of its most popular mainstream models.
Ford's new Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection can identify people in the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings. If a pedestrian is detected in front of the car and a collision becomes imminent, Ford claims, the driver will first receive an audible and visual warning.
New kind of people's car
Should the driver not respond, the system then shortens the time required to apply the brakes by reducing the gap between brake pads and discs. If there is still no response from the driver the brakes are applied autonomously and the vehicle speed is reduced.
The system can also help prevent or reduce the severity of rear-end collisions with other vehicles. Other tech highlights begin with adaptive LED headlamps.
Ford says they offer daylight-mimicking light clarity via actively adjusted headlight beam angle and intensity. The system can vary between one of seven settings according to vehicle speed, ambient light conditions, steering angle, distance to the vehicle in front and windscreen wiper activation.
An updated version of Ford's of Active Park Assist featuring Perpendicular Parking also features. The drill here involves the ability to detect suitable spaces and reverse hands-free into both parallel spaces on the side of the road or side-to-side with other cars in a car park.
Finally, the Mondeo also gets Ford's revised SYNC 2 multimedia gubbins, which majors on doing important things like navigation and speech recognition really well rather than chasing after gimmicks and checkbox features like in-car social media support.
The new Mondeo also gets a huge range of engines from a teensy 1.0-litre lump with 125hp to a muscular 2.0-litre turbo engine with up to 240hp. A low-carbon ECOnetic 1.6-litre diesel model, meanwhile, clocks in with just 94g/km CO2 emissions.
As if that's not enough, a Mondeo Hybrid model will follow soon, equipped with a 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery.
On paper, then, the new Mondeo looks like a bit of a technological tour de force, and certainly in keeping with the Ford tradition of bringing high-end features to the mass market. On the other hand, mid-sized saloons like the Mondeo are a dying breed in a market that increasingly favours more specialised niche models including SUVs and crossovers in all shapes and sizes.
No matter how much tech the Mondeo brings to the road, therefore, making a really big impact is a very tall order. The new Mondeo goes on sale in Europe later this year. UK prices are expected to kick off at around £19,000.
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