Ford goals to make railroad crossings safer with new tech

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A brand new Ford patent submitting has surfaced that hints at a driver-assist system designed to forestall collisions with trains.

First noticed by Motor1, the patent utility was filed with america Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) in 2021, however was solely printed on March 30, 2023. As Motor1 notes, the doc exhibits two possibles implementations of this concept, every utilizing sensors to detect oncoming trains as a automotive approaches a railroad crossing.

Ford train-detection system patent image

Ford train-detection system patent picture

In a single model, sensors can be positioned on the railroad tracks on either side of a crossing, and talk with sensors within the automobile. If the system detects a prepare, it warns the motive force to not cross. Inserting sensors on either side of a crossing permits the system to verify {that a} prepare is actually out of the best way earlier than giving the all-clear, and that it’s not, for instance, reversing again over the crossing.

The second model pares issues again a bit. As a substitute of putting sensors on the tracks, it will depend on in-car {hardware}, comparable to cameras and lidar, to look at the crossbars and warning lights at railroad crossings—the cues human drivers typically ignore when approaching railroad crossings.

Ford train-detection system patent image

Ford train-detection system patent picture

Ford additionally mentions sending info to different automobiles, in order that drivers know a prepare is occupying the crossing earlier than they attain it. This characteristic, which sounds just like the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication the automaker in 2018 stated may assist get rid of site visitors lights, could possibly be useful to emergency automobiles, permitting them to reroute round trains, Ford detailed within the patent.

This technique would additionally assist improve automobile automation, based on Ford, permitting automobiles to robotically cease at railroad crossings with out drivers having to take over. The automaker has filed a number of patents that could possibly be utilized to autonomous automobiles, however the core know-how itself remains to be below growth. So it is perhaps awhile earlier than something like Ford’s train-detecting system seems in a manufacturing automobile.

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