The tech makes use of radar and a windshield-mounted camera to "see" pedestrians - the images then get compared to a database of pedestrian-like shapes, and if a match is found, a notification is displayed for the driver.
Currently, automated emergency braking (AEB) is not standard on most vehicles, let alone with nighttime pedestrian detection, and automakers' systems are somewhat varied in the way they function.
So, the auto firm is introducing technology created to detect pedestrians at night and automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn't respond to initial warnings.
Ford tested the new pedestrian technology by sending life-sized dummies into the path of vehicles after dark.
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Ford already offers pedestrian detection technology, but for the first time, it will include night vision. If the processor determines that a collision with a pedestrian could occur, it first alerts the driver with sound and visual signals.
The feature, which is an extension of Ford's radar and camera-sensing equipment used in adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance, is able to identify a human shape at night and then automatically brake the vehicle if the driver does not respond to initial warnings.
There's a good chance the new braking system will save lives - Ford notes that 1 in 5 road deaths in 2014 were pedestrians, and nearly half of those were hit after dark. "Day and night, Pedestrian Detection is created to help identify people already in - or about to step into - the road ahead".
The 2018 F-150 pickup will also be upgraded to the same pedestrian-detection capability as the Mustang. In 2015, three out of four pedestrian road deaths in the US happened in the dark. In Europe, it will debut in the next-generation Fiesta.