Modern Ford products are built on the pillars of design, fuel economy and technology, the latter of which Ford is putting the focus on with the new Edge Concept unveiled today at the LA Auto Show.
Hinting at what the next-generation Ford Edge mid-size SUV will look like this concept previews advanced new automated driving technologies that are a step towards self driving cars.
To improve safety this concept is fitted with an advanced obstacle avoidance system with adaptive steering. Taking the relatively new auto brake functionality to the next level, not only will this system apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t react in time, it will even steer the car around the object.
On the convenience front is a new parking aid technology. Building off of Ford’s already existing active park assist feature this new prototype version doesn’t require any input from the driver. Activated by the push of a button inside the car, it can also be engaged remotely, allowing the car to exit a tight parking spot before you get in.
There’s also an adaptive steering system that can dramatically adjust the reaction of the front wheels to the steering wheel, allowing for only small steering adjustments, say, in a parking lot, rather than big hand-over-hand manoeuvres.
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With the goal of making technology intuitive so as to make life easier, Ford doesn’t have the best track record, the MyFord touch system being a notable example.
So in addition to the new technologies showcased here, it’s important to note that the Edge concept features actual buttons and knobs on the dash – proof that the no-button dash is a failed experiment. Still, MyFord Touch is hardly gone, it’s just evolved like BMW’s iDrive and gets a simply massive 10-inch display screen.
As for fuel economy, Ford hasn’t released any info about new powertrains though we wouldn’t be surprised to see the V6 dropped entirely in favor of the new 2.3-liter ecoboost turbocharged 4-cylinder.
Two notable fuel saving features on this concept that are expected to see production are a start-stop system and active grille shutters up front to reduce aerodynamic drag at speed.
And of course it’s all wrapped in a stylish new package. From a profile it looks familiar, though Ford has done considerable work to the front end, toning down the oversized grille and in the process eliminating some of the current SUV’s awkward styling.
A lot of the new Ford Edge concept is sure to make it into the production model, but only time will tell how long before these futuristic autonomous technologies arrive at a dealerships.
GALLERY: 2015 Ford Edge Concept
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