The blind spot has been a consistent safety issue for automobiles since before the invention of the C-pillar. Some automakers have recently tackled the problem with complicated warning systems that beep when your blind spot is about to cause an accident. Ford is taking a different but no less effective low-tech route with the introduction of its Blind Spot Mirror on the 2009 Edge. The technology behind the Blind Spot Mirror is simple; it's little more than a secondary convex mirror in the top right corner of the traditional side mirror that gives a clear view of what before was only visible by craning your neck left and right. We've seen this type of tech used before on aftermarket mirrors for towing applications, but it makes just as much sense on an unencumbered passenger vehicle.
Ford came up with the mirror in response to its own customer research that showed drivers were 76% more confident behind the wheel when using the mirror. The overwhelmingly positive feedback has led the Blue Oval to introduce the Blind Spot Mirror across its lineup as quickly as possible, starting with the 2009 Edge. Check out Ford's official presser after the jump and view the '09 Edge in our gallery below.
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 6, 2008 - Ford is moving quickly to address driver demands for increased visibility with an industry-first innovation, the Blind Spot Mirror, pulling ahead the feature's introduction by one year to launch this fall as standard equipment on the 2009 Ford Edge.
"Ford is committed to delivering innovative features that provide a better driving experience for the customer," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "The Blind Spot Mirror is the latest example of our strategy to move fast and to be industry leaders in enhancing the ownership experience."
Ford's Blind Sport Mirror answers customers' demands for better visibility as they change lanes or parallel park. This affordable technology will debut on the 2009 Edge later this year and eventually will be offered on several future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as standard equipment.
Blind Spot Mirror
The Blind Spot Mirror is a traditional side view mirror designed with a secondary convex spotter in the top outer corner, which provides a view of the driver's blind spot. When traffic enters the driver's blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, alerting the driver of potential danger.
Ford's push to develop the Blind Spot Mirror and migrate it across its lineup comes as a result of careful customer research, said Kelly Kohlstrand with Ford's Advanced Product Marketing and Technology Planning team.
"We're committed to offering new features that address unmet customer needs," Kohlstrand said. "Customers told us that visibility is important to them and that they specifically desired a more effective outside rearview mirror."
Early drive clinics conducted by Ford show that the Blind Spot Mirror is a feature that customers want and value. Nearly 76 percent of focus group clinic participants said the mirror improved their confidence while driving. In addition, the participants said the learning curve or adjustment to the using the Blind Spot Mirror was minimal.
Ford's Blind Spot Mirror provides a more seamless solution than present aftermarket offerings, as it uses one continuous glass surface and is robust to the elements. The factory-installed spotter mirror is specifically designed for the vehicle - car or truck - it provides an optimized field of view.