On Jan. 14, 1970, Ford researchers revealed early, experimental work on a unique system to assist drivers in backing up. In a presentation to the Society of Automotive Engineers, Ford scientists said they were experimenting with an obstacle detection and warning system that would sense an obstacle in a vehicle’s blind spot and warn drivers against backing over the object. That experimental system—which used an infrared laser and a unique optical sensing system—was an early forerunner of Reverse Aid, which employs a more reliable ultrasound system to provide similar warnings.
Reverse Aid—another industry “first” from Ford—was introduced on the 1999 Ford Windstar and is now available on other Ford Motor Company products including the Ford Taurus and Explorer, the Mercury Mountaineer and the Lincoln Navigator. Reverse Aid is a short-range collision-warning system to aid in reversing and parking maneuvers. As the vehicle approaches pedestrians or other vehicles or obstacles, ultrasonic range sensors detect the object and trigger a beeping warning sound.