Ford offers solutions to backseat drivers

For drivers, advice from passengers is more than annoying — it’s stressful

Published: August 22, 2019, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:53 PM

Backseat bantering

Ford is hoping to put an end to “backseat drivers” (you know, those passengers who are constantly telling the driver what he should and shouldn’t do while driving along), with its Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistant technology.

“For a lot of drivers, constantly getting advice from passengers is more than just annoying, it’s stressful,” says sociologist Dr. Jess Carbino, best known for her work with Bumble. “The Ford Co-Pilot360 helps encourage trust during the drive and can help create a more relaxed, collaborative atmosphere in the car.”

According to research she performed for Ford, she found that 68% of drivers believe that the comments from passengers will decrease with the advent of new driving aid technologies. The study found that in-vehicle relationships to suffer, while driving aids can help avoid unnecessary banter by taking over some of the more tedious tasks or those influenced by inattentiveness, and allows passengers to concentrate on other things, like each other.

Here’s how Ford Co-Pilot360 addresses some of the concerns from backseat drivers …

“You can get over a lane.” Lane-change technology helps drivers easily identify when it’s safe to move over a lane and when it isn’t, sounding an alert if the driver attempts a dangerous manoeuvre.

“Watch that truck.” Blindspot information lets the driver know precisely when a vehicle is in the driver’s blind spots and sounds an alert if the driver attempts to invade that space when it’s occupied by another vehicle.

“There’s a car coming.” Cross-traffic alert with automatic braking will ensure the vehicle stops without driver intervention when backing up out of parking spot.

“You’re following to close.” Adaptive cruise control keeps what’s identified as a safe gap between cars, regardless of speed and what the driver ahead is doing with his brake pedal.

“Certainly, the intent of Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology was not to eliminate backseat driving,” Chris Billman, Ford Co-Pilot360 engineering manager, said with a laugh. “But hey, if we can help in that way too, that’s great!”