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Ford Advances in Developing Automated Brake Light Recognition System

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Ford Automated Brake Light Detection System

Mandated by federal laws, new automobiles sold in the United States must be equipped with brake lights readily perceptible to the human eye. However, a recent patent application by Ford suggests that the company is working on a more technologically advanced approach to this requirement.

The patent documentation was made public by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on September 14, 2023, having been submitted in May of the same year. The application outlines an automated system for detecting brake lights, with Ford positing that such a technology could enhance the efficacy of driver-assist functionalities and potentially be integral to the development of autonomous vehicles in the future.

Overview of Ford Mustang Mach-E

Illustration from Ford’s Patent for Automated Brake Light Recognition System

As articulated in the application, the system would employ lidar and cameras to survey the road conditions ahead. Specialized software would then analyze the lidar data and visual input to ascertain whether a vehicle ahead has activated its brake lights. Furthermore, the application outlines the system’s adaptability for day and night conditions, specifying different software algorithms for accurate brake light identification during varying light conditions.

According to Ford, this system could offer significant advantages for autonomous vehicles, such as more precise decision-making about when it is safe to proceed. For instance, the system could inhibit a car from moving forward even if a traffic light changes to green but the preceding cars have not yet begun to move. The technology might also prove beneficial when traffic signals are malfunctioning or for human-operated vehicles equipped with driver-assist technologies, offering an extra layer of safety in situations where the driver may be distracted.

Argo AI Autonomous Vehicle Prototype

As is the case with any patent application, there is no guarantee that the innovations described will transition into actual products. Ford has a history of actively filing patents, with recent examples including a telescopic cargo bed for pickup trucks and an overhead electric vehicle backup battery.

In the previous year, Ford inaugurated its Latitude AI division focused on the development of automated driving systems. Given this context, it is conceivable that the automated brake light recognition technology could be integrated into ongoing projects, such as Ford’s BlueCruise highway driving assist system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford Automated Brake Light Detection System

What is the primary focus of Ford’s recent patent application?

The primary focus of Ford’s recent patent application is an automated system for detecting brake lights in vehicles on the road. This technology aims to improve the performance of driver-assist systems and could potentially be integral to the development of autonomous vehicles in the future.

How does Ford’s proposed brake light detection system work?

Ford’s proposed system would utilize lidar and cameras to survey the road conditions ahead. Specialized software would then analyze this data to ascertain whether a vehicle ahead has its brake lights activated. The system is designed to adapt to both day and night conditions through varying software algorithms.

What potential benefits does Ford claim this system could offer?

According to Ford, the automated brake light detection system could offer significant advantages, especially for autonomous vehicles. For instance, it could make more precise decisions about when it is safe to proceed. It could prevent a car from moving forward if a traffic light turns green but the vehicles ahead have not yet started moving. Additionally, the technology could offer an extra layer of safety in human-operated vehicles equipped with driver-assist technologies.

Is the technology limited to autonomous vehicles?

No, the technology is not limited to autonomous vehicles. While it may offer specific benefits to self-driving cars, it could also be useful in human-operated vehicles equipped with driver-assist technologies. In such cases, the system could act as an additional safety measure in situations where the driver may be distracted.

Will this technology definitely be implemented in Ford’s future products?

As with any patent application, there is no guarantee that the technology will transition into actual products. However, given Ford’s focus on advancing automated driving technology, as evidenced by the inauguration of its Latitude AI division, it is conceivable that this system could be integrated into ongoing or future projects.

What other recent patents has Ford filed?

Ford has a history of actively filing patents in various domains. Recent examples include a telescopic cargo bed for pickup trucks and an overhead electric vehicle backup battery.

What is Ford’s Latitude AI division?

Ford’s Latitude AI division was inaugurated last year and is focused on the development of automated driving systems. This division could potentially make use of the automated brake light recognition technology in its ongoing projects.

Does the patent mention adaptations for different lighting conditions?

Yes, the patent application specifies that the system would have different software algorithms to adapt to varying light conditions, allowing for accurate brake light identification during both day and night.

More about Ford Automated Brake Light Detection System

  • Ford’s Official Website
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Overview of Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Argo AI Homepage
  • Ford’s Latitude AI Division
  • BlueCruise Highway Driving Assist System
  • Federal Vehicle Regulations on Brake Lights

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7 comments

JennyQ September 20, 2023 - 7:12 pm

I love how Ford’s not just looking at now but also at the future with autonomous vehicles. Smart move, Ford!

Reply
AlanTech September 20, 2023 - 9:59 pm

Lidar and cameras for brake light detection? Sounds super high-tech, but also sounds expensive. Wonder what the cost implication would be for the consumer.

Reply
DanO September 21, 2023 - 12:40 am

Telescopic cargo bed for pickup trucks and now this? Ford’s going all out with patents. Let’s hope at least a few of them see the light of day.

Reply
TimV September 21, 2023 - 2:58 am

Im intrigued by the adaptability for day and night. it’s easy to miss brake lights in certain lighting. this could be really helpful.

Reply
MikeJ September 21, 2023 - 6:21 am

Wow, Ford’s really stepping up their game, huh? Automated brake lights could be a game changer, especially for those self-driving cars. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.

Reply
SarahD September 21, 2023 - 12:57 pm

interesting stuff, but im kinda skeptical. Patents don’t always turn into real products you know. but if it does, it’ll be cool to see it in action.

Reply
RachelM September 21, 2023 - 5:05 pm

Anyone else curious about what else is cooking in Ford’s Latitude AI division? If this is a hint, then we’re in for some cool stuff ahead!

Reply

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