It will debut on the Fiesta later this year, followed by the 2018 Mustang and F-150.

Ford wants everyone to know that, in general, people are afraid of the dark. It’s true – in a recent press release touting the manufacturer’s new technology to help detect pedestrians at night, Ford cites numerous studies that show people aren’t fond of darkness. To further back up those claims, the manufacturer says the underlying fear could stem from – wait for it – caveman ancestors.

How does this seemingly random tangent about prehistoric times connect to modern vehicles? Fear of the dark leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering, which according to Ford means anxiety behind the wheel. That’s why the company has tweaked its Pedestrian Detection system to work at night, so drivers and pedestrians alike have one less thing to worry about when the sun goes down.

“We know some drivers find hitting the road at night a stressful experience.” said Gregor Allexi, Ford of Europe's active safety engineer, in a press release. “Especially driving in towns and cities, pedestrians – sometimes distracted by mobiles – can without warning step into the road, leaving even alert drivers very little time to avoid an accident. Day and night, Pedestrian Detection is designed to help identify people already in – or about to step into – the road ahead.”

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The system utilizes radar and a windshield-mounted camera to “see” pedestrians at night. Captured images are then compared with a database of pedestrian-like shapes, and if a match is found, a notification is sent to the driver. If the danger persists without any action taken, the car will intervene on the driver’s behalf by applying the brakes. Ford says the camera can deliver over 30 shots per second, with the wide angle lens able to single out pedestrians effectively in low-light.

The Pedestrian Detection system debuted for the 2015 model year and was limited to daytime use. Development teams at Ford have since conducted nighttime testing in simulated and real-world conditions to offer this improved version for use in low-light situations. The new system will launch later in 2017 on the next-generation Ford Fiesta in Europe, followed by a North American launch on the 2018 Mustang and F-150.

Source: Ford

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