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

First noticed by Motor1, the patent utility was filed with the USA Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) in 2021, however was solely revealed 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 could be positioned on the railroad tracks on each side of a crossing, and talk with sensors within the automobile. If the system detects a practice, it warns the driving force to not cross. Inserting sensors on each side of a crossing permits the system to verify {that a} practice is actually out of the way in which 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 inserting sensors on the tracks, it could depend on in-car {hardware}, reminiscent of cameras and lidar, to look at the crossbars and warning lights at railroad crossings—the cues human drivers generally 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 practice 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 mentioned might assist get rid of visitors lights, may very well be useful to emergency automobiles, permitting them to reroute round trains, Ford detailed within the patent.

This technique would additionally assist improve automobile automation, in line with Ford, permitting vehicles to routinely cease at railroad crossings with out drivers having to take over. The automaker has filed a number of patents that may very well be utilized to autonomous automobiles, however the core expertise itself remains to be below growth. So it may be awhile earlier than we see something like Ford’s train-detecting system in a manufacturing automobile.


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