Ford shows off new safety features


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A Lincoln parked itself and it found and measured the parking space itself as well. All the driver had to do is keep their hands off the steering wheel as the operation was completed.

"It's an ultrasonically-based system. It's not cameras or radar, and it has sensors in each of the corners," said Ron Reaume from Ford.

Ford was in San Francisco introducing the media to new technologies in its 2010 models. Lead engineers came out from Michigan to say Ford is making hi-tech a priority in its new cars, inside and out.

"This is the same kind of radar used in an F-22 fighter jet," said Ford Chief Safety Engineer Steve Kozak.

The 2010 Taurus SHO has a forward-looking radar system that warns the driver of a possible collision and gets the brakes ready for a fast stop. It also has radar in the back to see what the driver cannot -- a blind spot, or if the view is blocked in some way.

A small icon in the side-view mirror warns the driver.

"This is the time when the industry has finally caught up with technology that we can put on an affordable family sedan and make it available to our customers for an added level of safety," said Kozak.

Jon Alain Guzik is editor-in-chief of consumer automotive website Driver Side. He says the new Taurus is more like a European car than its American counterparts.

"Basically what's in the car is a lot what you would expect from a higher-end Mercedes, BMW, Audi but in a larger sedan fit for the American market, with this really cool technology that you don't expect from an American brand like Ford," said Guzik.

The Insurance Institute found if crash avoidance technologies were on every car, it could prevent or lessen nearly a third of all crashes.

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