10 important parts of a Ford’s intricate “Nervous System”

When typical drivers pull out of their garage, they aren’t thinking about the numerous sophisticated sensors and electronic systems that communicate constantly to help keep them rolling smoothly down the road. And this is how it’s meant to be – technology quietly doing its job while you drive. But current-model Fords are really an intricate web of circuits, sensors, wires and processors hard at work doing things like injecting just the right amount of gasoline into the cylinders and helping maneuver your vehicle into a parking spot.

Like the nervous system of a human being, the systems on board new Ford vehicles are a closely connected network working in unison to deliver a streamlined driving experience. From Adaptive Cruise Control to Active Park Assist, the brainpower beneath the hood and under the dash is truly staggering. Below are ten standouts.

1) Adaptive Steering*

This available feature, built entirely into the steering wheel, optimizes steering response by changing the ratio between a driver’s input and how much a vehicle’s front wheels turn. This makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces at low speeds, while providing smoother and more precise control at highway speeds.

BLIS Blind Spot Information System GIF

2) Active Nibble Control*

Ever feel an annoying vibration in your steering wheel when driving over rough terrain? Not if you drive a Ford. Active Nibble Control is built into the electric power-assisted steering system and helps provides  smooth steering feel on any road. It leverages Ford’s Electric Power-assisted Steering Systems (EPAS) to provide you with a more-comfortable drive by reducing the amount of road vibration that filters through to the steering wheel.

3) Gyroscopic Yaw Roll Sensors

As integral components of Ford’s vehicle’s stability control systems, yaw and roll sensors (on all trucks and SUVs) help keep wheels firmly in contact with the road and increase control in the event of a skid.

4) Blind-Spot Information System (BLIS)*

According to the US Government Department of Transport, about 840,000 blind spot accidents occur in the U.S annually. Ford’s available BLIS system helps mitigate this by warning drivers using lights embedded in the side view mirror when a vehicle has entered their blind spot.  BLIS uses two radar sensors located behind the rear bumper fascia, one on each side of the vehicle.

GIF of Ford Adaptive Steering Demonstration

5) Active Park Assist *

This available feature uses ultrasonic sensors to determine whether a parking spot is large enough and then steers the car into the space, while the driver controls the gear shifter, the brake and accelerator pedals as needed. The ultrasonic sensors are located on the front and rear bumpers and allow you to park in spaces just 1.2 times the length of your car.

6) Exhaust Sensor

There are sensors everywhere – even in the exhaust system. The sensors are located in the exhaust system close to the engine, and measure oxygen levels to help maintain a proper air-to-fuel ratio. This in turn helps optimize performance, throttle response, and fuel efficiency. Who knew you could learn so much from your exhaust!

Ford Performance cat-back exhaust system

7) Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

You might consider this the brain of a vehicle’s propulsion system. The PCM receives data collected by the car’s myriad sensors and then uses the information to make critical decisions for the operation of the engine and transmission.

8) Body Control Module (BCM)

The BCM controls exterior and interior lighting, windshield wipers, driver configurable settings and many optional features like rearview camera, power liftgate and power seat memory functions, to mention just a few. It also acts as the gateway for other modules to communicate with each other, like road speed signal from the PCM to the Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC)

9) Lights, Cameras, Action!*

Like a network of highly observant eyes, cameras on select vehicles enable drivers to see what’s behind them, in front of them, and even around corners. The F-150 even offers a 360-degree camera view, which provides a full panorama view from cameras located in the front, rear and side-view mirrors. The 2016 Explorer comes with an optional front-facing camera to help when pulling out of spots that have obstructed views like parking garages and driveways.

The available front-view camera on select F-150 models sit discretely below the Ford badge.
The available front-view camera on select F-150 models sit discretely below the Ford badge.

10) Adaptive Cruise Control*

Compatible vehicles under certain conditions can leverage the latest radar technology to maintain your set speed and a preset gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you in the same lane. When necessary, the system automatically adjusts cruising speed to maintain the preset gap but without exceeding your selected speed.

All Driver Assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle.

* – Available features; availability varies by vehicle/model.