Ford is introducing some interesting future technology for the 2018 F-150 and Mustang. A bumper-mounted radar and a windshield-mounted camera will scan the road ahead and convey information to a new Pedestrian Detection system. It will be able to alert the driver of pedestrians in the path of the vehicle both day and night, automatically applying brakes if the driver doesn't heed the system warnings.

To separate between tree-shaped objects and people-shaped people, the system relies on a database of "pedestrian shapes", against which it compares the shapes it detects ahead. Every second, the windshield camera takes more than 30 snapshots, so the system is continuously up-to-date. Ford says the viewing angle is wide enough to detect pedestrians even in low-light conditions where there are no streetlights, just the car's own headlights. However, there's no thermal camera involved for true night vision.

The system was tested first with dummies on test tracks, and later in busy cities such as Paris and Amsterdam. The first European implementation of the system will be on the new 2018 Ford Fiesta. In the United States, the detection system will become available on the F-150 in August and on the Mustang in November.

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