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Ford’s S2RV Concept Vehicle Is Smart, Safe

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Ford Motor Company’s latest-technology concept vehicle combines intelligent vehicle
technology and advanced accident-avoidance systems 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 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,” he explained. 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 Technology Smart features are
those pertaining to intelligent vehicle technology or telematics. Telematics is the
blending of computers and wireless telecommunication technologies. 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, which gives a glimpse of the automotive future,
includes a voice system, reconfigurable displays, reconfigurable switches, Bluetooth phone
(for wireless, seamless, hands-free operation), tire-pressure transducers, passive entry
system and SmartNAV. 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 responding to the call. Accident Avoidance Systems –
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, adaptive headlights, TrafficView,
wireless-proximity warning system, accident-avoidance camera system, rear-collision warning
system and retractable safety belts. “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, and was unveiled at the Ford
Centennial celebration.

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