Robots that press buttons for a living, Ford and the incredible car tech you didn't know existed

Is that a real pedestrian

Sensors are, of course, a big part of the modern car tech package and Ford has been working hard to make them cheap enough to slap into even the most affordable models. Several features flow out of this effort.

Ford's Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is based a brace of radar and camera sensors, it can pick out pedestrians in the road ahead – or that could cross the vehicle's path – and automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to warnings.

Ford demoed the tech by packing me into a Mondeo and firing me along a test track at the uncannily lifelike, humanoid crash dummy. From behind the steering wheel, it's shocking just how hard it is to keep your foot on the throttle as you motor towards the dummy.

Every cell in your body is screaming brake, and the system intervenes at a point that surely seems like far too late. But stop short of the dummy it most certainly does. This is already available on the Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models.

See around corners

Another sensor-driven feature already available on the S-MAX and Galaxy models is the Front Split View Camera which gives the driver a 180-degree view of traffic approaching. Basically, it allows you to see round corners. The 1MP camera even has its own little washer jet to keep it clean. Sweet. Whatever, if you've ever crept out of a blond junction, praying that there's nothing coming, you'll know how useful this feature can be.


Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.