Ford will introduce AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control in the 2006 Ford Econoline 15-passenger wagon to debut during the second quarter next year.
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 11, 2004 – Sport utility vehicle customers can now experience a new level of driving confidence and control even in adverse conditions – but only if they’re behind the wheel of a Ford Motor Company SUV.
By the end of 2005, more than half a million Ford Motor Company SUVs equipped with Roll Stability Control™ – Ford’s exclusive enhanced stability technology – will be on the road. Unlike any other system in the world, Roll Stability Control features roll-rate sensing and correcting capability, offering assistance to the driver in maintaining vehicle control during extreme maneuvers. The system automatically engages counter measures to help the driver maintain maximum control and further reduce the risk of rollover.
The Ford-developed Roll Stability Control system debuted on the 2003 Volvo XC90 and the company expanded it to Lincoln SUVs for the 2004 model year. Now, Ford is underscoring its commitment to safety leadership by offering Roll Stability Control along with the AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control system on Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Lincoln Aviator, Mercury Mountaineer and Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicles for the 2005 model year. In addition, the company will extend this breakthrough technology to its 2006MY Econoline 15-passenger wagon.
"We’re proud to be at the forefront in developing technologies that show great potential for helping the driver – including our industry-first Roll Stability Control system," said Sue Cischke, vice president, Environmental and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company. "Today, Roll Stability Control is only available to Ford Motor Company customers. We feel so strongly about its immediate safety benefits that we will license this unique technology to other companies."
A New Dimension in Safety
Ford’s Roll Stability Control is an active stability enhancement system that significantly builds upon existing electronic stability control systems in the market today. To understand the Ford system advantage, consider that conventional stability control systems are designed to help a driver maintain control and avoid fishtailing or a spin out. While some can help reduce the potential for rollover , these conventional systems do not directly measure a vehicle’s roll motion or the side-to-side tilting that can occur during an accident avoidance maneuver. Ford’s Roll Stability Control rises to the next level by responding to the potential of a rollover, in addition to helping a driver avoid fishtailing or spinouts. Ford’s system marries sophisticated electronics and advanced software to mitigate the chances of a rollover during an extreme maneuver.
Working in Tandem
Ford is coupling its Roll Stability Control technology with its AdvanceTrac chassis control system – which includes an anti-lock braking system, traction control and electronic stability control – to offer drivers enhanced vehicle control in adverse driving conditions. AdvanceTrac monitors driver inputs, such as steering, throttle and brakes, and the corresponding vehicle responses – yaw, lateral acceleration and wheel speed – to control brake force distribution and vehicle stability. When required, AdvanceTrac applies the brakes at one or more wheels to help correct excessive yaw, responding to "understeering" and "oversteering." Ford’s Roll Stability Control technology adds the capability to directly monitor a vehicle’s wheel lift. It’s designed to anticipate and help settle roll motion, allowing the driver to maintain more directional steering control.
Behind the Brain
Ford’s exclusive Roll Stability Control technology features a micro-machined gyroscopic sensor that determines the vehicle’s body roll angle and roll rate. This information, along with Ford-developed algorithms embedded in advanced software, is used with other vehicle sensors’ inertial information on yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal accelerations to monitor the vehicle’s roll stability condition approximately 150 times per second.
If it detects the possibility of a rollover, within milliseconds, Roll Stability Control automatically engages AdvanceTrac to reduce engine power and rapidly apply the brakes with a high burst of pressure to the appropriate wheels. This braking reduces the lateral force generated at the road surface enough to help keep the wheels on the ground while allowing the driver keep the vehicle on the desired path.
Designed for Superior Safety and Refined Performance
A team led by Todd Brown in Ford’s Global Core Engineering, Brakes and Chassis Controls developed the company’s patented Roll Stability Control system to reduce the likelihood of rollover accidents. The technology grew out of the team’s experience designing AdvanceTrac, which was introduced on the 2000 Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-type. Ford Motor Company now has more than 80 patents and patent applications pending worldwide for its groundbreaking Roll Stability Control technology.
"We’ve designed Roll Stability Control to not only improve customers’ ability to avoid rollover crashes, but also to preserve the driving dynamics and performance capability that we develop for each vehicle," Brown explains. "We put our vehicles through exhaustive real-world testing that involves more than 400 performance maneuvers – including aggressive slaloms, fish-hook tests, and abrupt lane changes – to help ensure our vehicles handle predictably even when driving conditions change suddenly."