07/21/2003 – S2Rv – Ford Smart Safe Research Vehicle: The Latest In Telematics And Accident Avoidance

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Source: Ford Motor Company

S2Rv – Ford Smart Safe Research Vehicle: The Latest In Telematics And Accident Avoidance

Mich. – Ford Motor Company’s latest technology concept vehicle
combines advanced accident avoidance systems and intelligent
vehicle technology in a modified Ford Explorer. It’s called
S2RV, which stands for “Smart, Safe Research Vehicle.

“The telematics and accident avoidance systems in
the S2RV simplify life for our customers and help keep
them safe, ” said Dr. Ron Miller, project leader for
Intelligent Vehicle Technologies at Ford Research and Advanced
Engineering. “Voice control and touch screens access the
S2RV’s smart and safe features .” Miller, who
holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT, says an Explorer was picked for
the technology exercise because it is America’s best-selling SUV,
and a popular real-world vehicle in which to test the

Many of the features of S2RV can be
separated into two categories — those that represent new “smart ”
technology and those new features that pertain to making the
vehicle more “safe. “

Smart features are those
pertaining to intelligent vehicle technology or telematics.
Telematics is the blending of computers and wireless
telecommunication technologies with the goal of efficiently
conveying information over vast networks to improve a host of
transportation and business functions or government-related public

The term has evolved to refer to automobile systems
that combine global position satellite tracking and other wireless
communications for automatic roadside assistance, remote
diagnostics and other purposes.


The S2RV “Smart” technology

  • Voice System – controls vehicle features
    including reconfigurable instrument clusters, phone and accident
    avoidance systems.

  • Reconfigurable Displays – allows the
    driver to choose gauges and instrument cluster presentation,
    including color and font sizes.

  • Reconfigurable Switches
    – allows the movement and placement of switches and controls to
    where the driver or other occupants use them most. These switches
    also create a “plug-n-play “ environment for aftermarket
    entertainment systems, or for assistance technologies such as a
    hydraulic seat.

  • BluetoothT Phone – the voice and
    vehicle systems access the driver’s Bluetooth phone for wireless,
    seamless, hands-free operation. “Bluetooth” is a wireless
    technology that connects electronic devices to each other over short

  • Tire Pressure Transducers – Radio signals
    indicate tire pressure and temperature.

  • Passive Entry System – This system automatically
    unlocks the vehicle when the driver approaches the vehicle.
    Possession of the key fob is all that is necessary.

  • SmartNAV — A smart navigational system
    that uses vehicle-to-vehicle communication, as well as incident
    report information from local municipalities, the S2RV
    can provide real-time traffic routing for a vehicle’s specific

When a traffic jam is detected on the
roadway in front of the S2RV, the SmartNAV system will
automatically recalculate a route based on the information being
gathered from all surrounding vehicles.

The navigation
system is also capable of preventing a cellular phone from ringing
when traffic conditions become too dangerous for the driver to be
distracted by answering the call.


S2RV “Safe” features are those
that improve safety performance by helping to prevent accidents
from happening in the first place, but if they do, protecting
occupants from harm. Features include:

  • Active Night Vision – a laser, invisible to our eyes but
    visible to a camera, illuminates an area larger than the high beam
    headlights. An infrared sensor located inside the vehicle just
    above the rear view mirror views the scene and the clear, high
    contrast image is presented on a heads-up display mounted on the

  • Adaptive Headlights – This technology changes the
    directional beams of the headlamps to help the driver see more
    effectively as the direction or curvature of the road changes.

  • TrafficViewTM – forward pointing cameras give the
    driver a clear view around large vehicles in front. The cameras are
    mounted on the outboard side-view mirrors and can be monitored in
    the instrument cluster to give drivers a wider field of vision.

  • Wireless Proximity Warning System – When two vehicles in a
    potential accident situation are equipped with the appropriate
    sensing devices, the Wireless Proximity Warning System acts as a
    pre-crash sensing technology to warn drivers of imminent danger

  • Accident Avoidance Camera System – a pair of cameras
    installed in the high mount console, just above the rear view
    mirror, identify potential collision partners, track their
    position, speed and movements and then assess the potential
    collision risk.

  • Rear Collision Warning System – Sensors
    mounted in the rear bumper register vehicles on a collision course
    with the rear of the S2RV.

  • Retractable Safety
    Belts – motorized, reset-able, shoulder belt tensioners gently but
    firmly tighten the safety belt before a collision.

“While there have been technology demonstration vehicles before,
there has never been any vehicle with more advanced features than
the S2RV,” said Miller. “It is a concept vehicle – to
show what we can do. It’s not ready for production, but you can bet
that many of these features will be seen in the Ford Motor Company
vehicles of the future.

The S2RV was designed
and constructed by Ford Research and Advanced Engineering personnel
in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford Motor Company, headquartered in
Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s second largest automaker, with
approximately 335,000 employees in 200 markets on six continents.
Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land
Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related
services include Ford Credit, Quality Care and Hertz. Ford Motor
Company observed its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003.

The S2RV was unveiled at the Ford Centennial

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