Ford aims to make railroad crossings safer


A brand new Ford patent submitting has surfaced that hints at a driver-assist system designed to forestall collisions with trains.

First noticed by Motor1, the patent utility was filed with the USA Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) in 2021, however was solely revealed on March 30, 2023. As Motor1 notes, the doc reveals two potential implementations of this concept, every utilizing sensors to detect oncoming trains as a automotive approaches a railroad crossing.

Ford train-detection system patent picture

In a single model, sensors can be positioned on the railroad tracks on either side of a crossing, and talk with sensors within the automobile. If the system detects a prepare, it warns the motive force to not cross. Putting sensors on either side of a crossing permits the system to substantiate {that a} prepare is admittedly out of the best way earlier than giving the all-clear, and that it isn’t, for instance, reversing again over the crossing.

The second model pares issues again a bit. As an alternative of putting sensors on the tracks, it will depend on in-car {hardware}, akin to cameras and lidar, to observe the crossbars and warning lights at railroad crossings—the cues human drivers typically ignore when approaching railroad crossings.

Ford train-detection system patent picture

Ford additionally mentions sending info to different autos, in order that drivers know a prepare is occupying the crossing earlier than they attain it. This characteristic, which sounds just like the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication the automaker in 2018 stated might assist eradicate site visitors lights, could possibly be useful to emergency autos, permitting them to reroute round trains, Ford detailed within the patent.

This method would additionally assist enhance automobile automation, in line with Ford, permitting vehicles to routinely cease at railroad crossings with out drivers having to take over. The automaker has filed a number of patents that could possibly be utilized to autonomous autos, however the core expertise itself remains to be beneath growth. So it may be awhile earlier than we see something like Ford’s train-detecting system in a manufacturing automobile.

HIGH-RES GALLERY: Ford train-detection system patent picture

This text was initially revealed by Motor Authority, an editorial associate of


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