When the Ford Ranger made its first public appearance at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, it was more than just the eye-catching design and capability of the all-new pick-up that set it apart from the competition. It was the highly advanced levels of safety, security and occupant protection.
During development, Ford engineers ran thousands of simulations to develop a vehicle that was strong enough to do the job and safe enough to protect occupants in a crash. In addition, Ford fitted the Ranger with comprehensive crash avoidance technology to prevent crashes from happening in the first place.
These Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) helped the Ranger to become the first pickup in its class to achieve the maximum five-star European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) / Australian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) rating in 2012.
Stefan Seemann has charted the evolution of driver assist technologies for the Ford Ranger and Everest since 2012. He currently heads Ford’s Driver Assistance Technology (DAT) for the Asia-Pacific region – designing, developing and testing driver assistance features for global Ford products like the Ranger and Everest.
“Any technologies we introduce must help give drivers a safer and more confident driving experience,” Stefan said. “They also must be tailored to truck and SUV customers and their use. My team has spent a lot of time and effort on making ADAS features feel as natural and safe so that Ranger drivers and their passengers feel confident in the vehicle’s ability to protect them.
“The best feedback we receive comes from our most passionate customers. I constantly scan through the forums and Facebook groups where customers ask really good questions,” he said. “Hearing directly from customers is the best way to learn what they like, and what they like to see in the Ranger – and another example of how everything we do at Ford is centred around the customer.”
Features like pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking (AEB), available in certain Ranger and Everest models, are designed to reduce the severity of, and in some cases can help prevent, a frontal collision, marking a step toward a smarter, safer future on the road.
On Ford vehicles, AEB uses complementary camera and millimeter-wave radar to detect and identify potential risks on the road. While the radar detects obstacles that are farther away and moving fast, such as other vehicles, the camera is also effective in recognizing images, such as pedestrians.
When risk is detected, AEB alerts the driver with audible warning sounds and a flashing light. At the same time, the system prepares the brakes for rapid braking. If the driver reacts too slowly, the technology applies the brakes, potentially helping to avoid the crash completely or reduce the impact.
“For now, AEB is designed to assist drivers, and it shows more of what smart vehicles can do,” said Stefan. “We are in the midst of an evolution where technology is able to anticipate and react quicker than humans, which means features like AEB will lead us toward safer and smarter roads.
“There is incredible synergy between safety and connectivity,” he added. “Collaborations like the one between Ford and Google will be a big part of how customers interact with future vehicles.”
Ford ADAS features explained
Adaptive Cruise Control
Like regular cruise control, you can set a speed you want the Ranger to maintain, but adaptive cruise control uses a radar to maintain a safe and pre-set distance with the vehicle ahead of you.
Adjustable Speed Limiter
Driving on a long stretch of highway? Keep within the law and set the adjustable speed limiter to the legal limit of the motorway you are on. Once set, your Ranger will not go over the speed limit, even if you step on the throttle.
Parking Sensors with Rear View Camera
Ranger helps you reverse into tight spaces with the combination of rear parking sensors and rearview camera images that can be conveniently viewed on your SYNC infotainment screen.
Lane Keep Assist
Ranger uses a camera to scan the road ahead for lane markings to detect if your pick-up truck is drifting out of lane. Feedback you’ll feel through the steering wheel will alert you when your Ranger drifts from the lane and a steering aid will guide you back to the centre of the lane.
Semi-Auto Active Park Assist
Have trouble parallel parking? No worries. With the press of a button, Ranger’s semi-auto active park assist can detect a parking spot big enough for your truck and automatically steers itself into place.
Driver Alert System Coffee Cup
Ranger monitors your driving behavior and detects if you are showing any signs of fatigue. A forward-facing camera calculates your vigilance level based on the vehicle position within the lane. If Ranger detects you are becoming less and less vigilant, an audible chime and a coffee cup logo will appear in the instrument cluster, suggesting the driver take a break.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection
Using advance camera technology, AEB can avoid a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian by pre-charging the brakes for increased braking power and response. Ranger can also automatically apply the brakes to avoid a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian at speeds over 3.6km/h.
 ADAS features may vary on the specific Ranger Variant. Please check your local Ford website or visit your preferred Ford dealership for more details.
 ADAS features do not replace the driver and are driver aids. Always drive safely and follow local road laws.