Vans play an increasingly critical role in our cities, partly due to the rising number of parcels that are delivered. But navigating busy, urban roads can be challenging for delivery drivers who may make up to 200 drop-offs per day during the Christmas period.
“Dooring” incidents can occur when drivers open the doors of their vehicles without noticing that bicycles, scooters, or motorcycles are approaching. Every year, in England, Wales and Scotland alone, more than 500 people are injured because someone opened a car door into their path. It is thought that many further such incidents go unreported.
Now, Ford is hoping to help reduce the risk of dooring accidents and help make journeys safer through the introduction of innovative Exit Warning technology.
The all-new Ford Transit Custom can be equipped with Exit Warning. Radar and external sensors help identify when an opening door might cause a collision with a passing road user and LED indicators on the door mirrors are activated, as well as an alert on the dashboard.
To avoid unnecessary activation, the system only operates when other road users exceed speeds of 7 kilometres per hour. Drivers and their passengers can manually override the feature in an emergency.
The all-new Transit Custom was recently named International Van of the Year 2024 (IVOTY), and is the latest version of Europe’s bestselling one-tonne van. Exit Warning works on both sides of the vehicle. This can be useful for instances where the driver or other occupants exit the vehicle from the passenger door and cyclists might be on the pavement, or a cycle lane is running parallel to the road.
The technology is also available on the all-new Tourneo Custom multi-activity vehicle, for which the protection extends to passengers exiting from the rear sliding side doors. Exit Warning will also be extended to the new electric Explorer crossover and new Mustang, and is expected to come to further Ford vehicles in 2024. Independent safety authority Euro NCAP takes safety features such as Exit Warning into consideration when awarding vehicle ratings.
Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe, commented: “Vans are the lifeblood of our cities. We know that dropping off hundreds of parcels a day can be difficult and demanding for delivery drivers – especially at this time of year. By offering Exit Warning on the all-new Transit Custom, we are aiming to make journeys safer for Ford Pro drivers and other road users as well.”