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Ford And Vauxhall Going High Tech

By raccars Published

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While the premium car brands pride themselves on being the first to introduce new vehicle technologies to the mainstream, they are currently in competition with the likes of Ford and Vauxhall, which are coming up with some stunningly sophisticated and advanced new tech.

Last week, Ford announced that it was using eye tracking and brain scans to help it develop the next generation of automotive interior design. By tracking drivers' eye movements, scientists can work out which parts of a car dashboard draw most attention, and how many people focus on a specific part of the dashboard for a longer time. This is supposed to help Ford work out how it should deploy its resources.

The eye tracking results will be added to a brain scan, to measure how brains respond to interior design proposals. Ford hopes that working out how the brain responds to certain stimuli will show it which ideas appeal to drivers and which repulse them.

Ford is taking a three pillar approach to automotive interior design, focusing on connection, innovation and clarity of intent. The Ford GT supercar was the first to get this treatment and the company plans to carry the simplicity of design of its dashboard through to its wider model line up.

Vauxhall is also embracing new technology in the form of an eye tracking headlight system. The plan is to use driver eye movements to direct headlight beams to what the driver is looking at. Two years of work have already gone into the project and Vauxhall believes it is almost ready to use in production. This will be the third new generation of adaptive headlights from Vauxhall within the space of a few years.

The technology works via infra red sensing cameras in the cabin, which scan driver eye movement up to 50 times every second, to identify a line of sight. That information is used to direct headlamp beams vertically or horizontally as appropriate. Apparently, the engineering team working on the project has been able to overcome obstacles, such as jerky eye movement, by using an advanced delay algorithm. If the driver's eyes move away from the road, the beam automatically remains in the direction of travel.

As well as eye tracking headlamp beams, Vauxhall has developed a sophisticated adaptive high beam headlight system, using LEDS. The system automatically adjusts the LED matrix to dim individual LEDS, which might direct glare into the eyes of oncoming traffic, while safely lighting the rest of the driver's view. This will be ready for production within 18 months.

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