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2011 Ford Explorer Will Feature Curve Control

Posted in Car Tech, Cross Over Vehicle, driving, Ford, General, New Cars, Safety, SUV by Kurt Ernst | June 29th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Virtually every SUV sold in the U.S. now features some variation of stability control programming. Ford, looking to live down the earlier Explorer’s reputation for being prone to rollover, has announced an enhanced stability control system called “Curve Control”. Software-based and requiring no additional hardware, Curve Control will be implemented on 90% of Ford’s trucks, SUVs and crossovers by 2015.

The Curve Control system works in conjunction with other stability control programs already in place on selected Ford vehicles, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Roll Stability Control (RSC). On Ford vehicles, ESC manages brake pressure to individual wheels based on signals from accelerometers and yaw rate sensors. When slip is detected, the system compares driver input to the cars behavior and reacts accordingly to prevent understeer or oversteer. Roll Stability Control, used on vehicles with a high center of gravity (like vans and SUVs) incorporates additional sensors to detect body roll and correct driver input to prevent a rollover.

Ford claims that Curve Control can reduce vehicle speed in a corner by up to 10 mph in one second. The system can be disabled by the driver, using the accelerator or the brake to override the Curve Control feature if desired.

While I’m all for safer vehicles, I wonder if advanced driver aids like Curve Control will create a whole generation of driver who believe they’re immune to the laws of physics. Get used to cornering in a new Explorer, and what happens when you drive an SUV not equipped with an advanced stability control system? I suspect more than one driver will learn the hard way that SUVs, regardless of technology, will never handle like a BMW M3.

Source: Deep Dive: Curve Control on the 2011 Ford Explorer

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3 Responses

  1. sweet post. This decade will be the decade of Ford in the USA. GM is on the down slide.

  2. This curve control system just sounds like a way for idiot drivers to continue to be idiots.

    Rollovers are very dangerous and the risk is high in top heavy vehicles. Any system made to reduce the risk of these accidents from happening is a good one. However, at what point do drivers become too dependent on these systems and forget how to drive?

    If you have a Ford Explorer don’t try and take that exit ramp like you’re in a Mustang!

  3. Kurt says:

    carcomplaints, I agree – you can’t defy the laws of physics. Look at the rollover testing that the Lexus GX460 “failed” at Consumer Reports. Would anyone in their right mind drive a full sized SUV at that velocity into a right hand corner?

    Ultimately, creating artificailly high handling limits will just result in more spectacular accidents. Wait until the first lawsuits hit because Curve Control didn’t save a drver who attempted to take an off-camber, decreasing radius corner at 3x the speed limit.