Ford jumps on tech train with connected car

Ford has announced a connected edition of its Mondeo car with built-in pedestrian detection to help drivers avoid accidents on the road.

The new technology will kick in at speeds up to 80kph (50mph) and uses a radar to detect pedestrians or other obstructions in the road or crossing the car's path. It will then warn the driver with an alarm and other visual alerts in the car.

It will also apply the brakes automatically if the driver decides to ignore warnings, which could come as a rather big surprise in some scenarios.

The car will also include Active City Stop that will automatically apply the brakes if it anticipates a collision with another car driving at a speed of 25mph, while higher speeds, the Pre-Collision Assist uses radar and camera technology to scan up to 200 metres ahead.

Ulrich Koesters, vehicle line director of Ford of Europe said: "The new Mondeo is the most technologically advanced Ford vehicle ever introduced in Europe. Features like Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection add safety and security for drivers in busy urban conditions.

"We've improved the strength of safety relevant areas by 40 per cent, and verified the performance with thousands of computer simulations and more than 180 real-world crash tests."

Although the use of mobile phones while driving is banned in the UK, Ford's innovation will also encourage users to connect up their vehicle to a smartphone so they can control it using their voice.

Additionally, MyKey technology will prevent calls coming through to the driver's phone while they are driving so they can keep their eyes on the road rather than their phone.

The technology will be fitted into the 2015 model of the Ford Mondeo, set to launch at the end of this year with a price tag starting at 15,000.

Ford's car may not be as innovative as Google's self-driving car or the self-driving lorries undergoing testing at the moment, but the technology is an example of how new technologies can be commercialised to break our dangerous smartphone habits.