• Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman | Lincoln
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman | Lincoln
  • Image Credit: James Lipman | Lincoln
  • Image Credit: James Lipman | Lincoln
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
  • Image Credit: James Lipman
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 37,000 people lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2017. But modern technology could dramatically reduce the number of families affected by traffic fatalities every year by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles.

Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is perhaps the most comprehensive in the industry, with features such as Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection.

These are the kinds of new technologies that could slash the accident rate by 90 percent, according to the Boston Consulting Group's report, "A Roadmap to Safer Driving Through Advanced Driver Assistance Systems." The report finds that the benefit of such technologies comes to more than $16,000 per vehicle over a 20-year life span.

While fully self-driving cars have captured the popular imagination of future transportation, ADAS systems such as Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 boost safety today by helping drivers do the right thing at the right time. Co-Pilot360 debuted in the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus midsize luxury crossover SUV and an expanded Co-Pilot360 Plus arrives with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection uses radar and cameras to help drivers prevent frontal collisions with other cars or pedestrians by alerting the driver to the potential collision. A forward-looking video camera mounted behind the windshield and a radar unit in the grille serve as extra eyes, continuously scanning the road ahead for hazards in case the driver fails to spot them. The system pre-charges the brake system to maximum power, so when the driver hits the pedal, the car instantly goes to maximum braking to shorten the stopping distance. If the driver does not respond to that alert and the crash becomes imminent, the system automatically brakes the car.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus2019 Lincoln Nautilus

Of course, it is sometimes easier to swerve around a possible crash than it is to stop in time, so Evasive Steering Assist boosts the electric power-steering assistance, encouraging a quick maneuver around obstacles.

The lane-keeping system monitors lane markings on the road to help keep new Lincoln vehicles in their lanes so there's plenty of distance from wide or wandering vehicles in adjoining lanes. When it is time to change lanes, the Blind Spot Information System uses radar to alert drivers of vehicles entering their blind spots by flashing an indicator light on the outside mirror.

Lincoln's adaptive cruise control can also help the driver by taking on some of the mental workload. That means using the collision-avoidance radar to let the car automatically cruise at highway speeds and then slow and even stop if necessary. Automatic high beams dim the headlights when oncoming traffic approaches and automatically resumes the high beams when they pass, relieving the driver of this task.

Improving Safety in the Parking Lot

Parking lot fender benders are, thankfully, more harmful to peace of mind and wallet than to humans, but Co-Pilot360 can also prevent many of these headaches. The rearview camera provides a view of the area behind the vehicle, reinforcing what the driver can see out the rear window and in the outside mirrors.

When backing up, the rearview camera shows the car's path with lines pointing out where it will go and the distance to objects in the path.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus

But what about objects that aren't in view? You know, those cars that come rushing past just as you're backing out of a parking space, blinded by vehicles parked on each side. That's where Cross-Traffic Alert helps, thanks to side-looking radars mounted at the rear of the car that peek around those obstructions for you to provide an alert when there is a vehicle headed your way.

Lincoln can even help you get into and out of those parking spaces safely with another available feature, Enhanced Active Park Assist. When activated, it takes over the steering for both parallel and perpendicular parking, letting the driver focus on the accelerator and brake pedal.

With the arrival of the 2020 Lincoln Aviator's Co-Pilot360 Plus, Active Park Assist Plus takes complete control of the steering, shifter and pedals to automatically park the car in either a parallel or perpendicular spot. For safety, the driver oversees the parking maneuver by continuously holding down the automatic park button as the car reverses, steers and stops itself.

If you'd rather park the vehicle yourself, but you're in danger of backing into that concrete planter that you don't notice in the backup camera, the Aviator automatically brakes itself to avoid damaging your car's rear bumper on the obstacle.

The adaptive cruise control gets smarter, too, so it can read highway speed-limit signs and automatically adjust speed faster or slower as the limits change during a drive.

"We continue to try to make things as human as possible and as effortless as possible with our assistance systems," explained Aviator chief engineer John Davis. That's even if the effortless part means providing a bit of electronic wizardry to help out the human part.

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