It is a nightmare of many drivers: driving up a motorway in the wrong direction. Ford has developed a system for the Ford Focus to prevent drivers from driving down the motorway. This is the Wrong Way Alert technology.
Accidents with wrong-way drivers often have a serious and sometimes even fatal outcome. The speeds of both cars are combined in such a collision, which makes the impact very large. In 2017 22 people were killed in accidents due to accidents on motorways with ghost drivers.
Wrong Way Alert technology
The technology is based on Ford’s existing Traffic Sign Recognition technology. With GPS, the location of the car is determined and with a camera mounted behind the windshield, important signals are detected, such as the speed limit. The driver can see this on the dashboard. If a driver passes two ‘go back’ signs, the Wrong Way Alert will sound a warning. A red symbol and a message that the driver must check the driving direction is then what follows.
The technology is first available to customers in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It has been tested on a test track and in a virtual driving environment. The Wrong Way Alert is not the only new safety feature from Ford. In the event of a sudden collision with pedestrians or cyclists on the road, the car brakes automatically. There is also a function where the car deviates for obstacles on the road. Through a rear camera, the driver has 180 degree visibility when reversing.
What can you do if you see a ghost driver or are you one yourself?
If there is a ghost driver nearby
The Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) gives the following advice if there is a ghost driver on your route: **
- If you see a ghost driver, or hear a warning on the radio, turn on your lights and warning lights
- Carefully move to the right lane, or out of the way of the approaching car, and stay on other cars and brake lights before you pay attention. If necessary, use the emergency lane
- If you have not seen the ghost driver yet, take the next exit
- Ask a passenger to call the police, or call yourself when you can safely stop
- Listen carefully to the traffic information on the radio to know when the danger is over
If you are a ghost driver
- As soon as you find yourself on the wrong side, turn on your headlights and warning lights
- If there are no cars on the road, drive immediately to the emergency lane. If you are on the left lane and it would be dangerous to change lanes, drive as far as possible to the side of the road
- Parking close to the lane
- Carefully step out and stand behind the guardrail  Call the emergency number of the police and wait for help
- Do NOT attempt to turn.