According to the reports, this safety innovation will keep the rear passenger intact in an event of crash specially the children and the elders. The company patented the inflatable seat belt in 2008 and was introduced in the 2011 Ford Explorer. They have incorporated these features in Ford Explorer, Flex, Fusion and Upcoming 2015 Ford F 150.
With patents pending on the third generation of the technology, Ford has decided to offer the original system to suppliers, rival automakers and for use in buses, military vehicles, airplanes, helicopters and even boats, said Chris Danowski, director of technology commercialization for Ford Global Technologies.
Depending on the vehicle, Ford currently offers the inflatable safety belts as a stand-alone option for $195 or bundled with other technologies, including its Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, for $595.Ford licenses thousands of patented products to other companies through its Ford Global Technologies LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary that manages all aspects of intellectual property for the Dearborn-based automaker.
Danowski said Ford takes pride in making technology more available. Examples include the chiming seat belt reminder and the air bag deactivation switch on pickups that many adopted as an industry standard. The money is reinvested in engineering of new technology.
Ford owns about 25,000 patents in the U.S. and is a leading company in licensing technology. The automaker sells technology it no longer plans to use or licenses older versions of technology it still utilizes for a reduced royalty fee.
According to the reports, In addition to this technology, Ford makes many other patented technologies available for license. Some examples of available safety-related technologies are:
- Roll Stability Control™ continuously monitors the vehicle’s movement and its relationship to the road surface using a suite of vehicle dynamic sensors including roll rate. RSC automatically applies brakes and/or reduces engine power to help the driver avoid a potential roll-over situation
- “Surveillance mode” technology for Ford Police Interceptor was introduced to warn and help protect law enforcement officers from unexpected approaches to their vehicle from the rear
- Ford’s Belt-Minder® system was credited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety with increasing the buckle-up rate by reminding drivers with a persistent chime to wear their safety belts
- Ford’s driver alert warning system computes a driver’s “attention level” and displays it in the instrument cluster upon request. The system gauges the driver’s attention level based on statistical analysis of lane information collected by the forward-looking camera and the vehicle’s directional changes. If the calculated driver’s attention level falls below a certain threshold (potentially caused by a tired driver), visual and audible warnings are given
These and other technologies are available through Ford’s corporate Technology Licensing Portal.
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By Akshatha Karthik