Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ford’s Hill Launch Assist

Flipping through the latest edition of Saga Magazine I came upon this ad for an optional extra on some of Ford’s UK cars. It seems that it has been around for nearly a couple of years but this is the first time I have ever heard of it.

According to Ford the gadget helps drivers make the perfect hill start no matter how steep the gradient or how heavy the load.

It goes on to say: “The car's sophisticated software detects the attitude of the car every time it becomes stationary – for example at traffic lights. The locking system eliminates the need for the driver to apply the handbrake and instead automatically holds the car while the driver's foot travels from the brake to the accelerator pedal. As soon as sufficient engine torque is available it releases the brakes without the risk of either stalling or rolling backwards.”

The fact that the feature is standard on Ford’s Transit vans make me think that it wasn’t designed as a feature to appeal to the older market. I suspect some bright spark came up with the idea of promoting the benefits to the older market as an aid to assist their driving. Sounds a reasonably good idea. Dick Stroud

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