Ford says advanced safety technology becoming mainstream

It's not just luxury car buyers who are interested in advanced safety technology. Ford says that consumers are adopting these features in higher rates than expected.

Liane Yvkoff
Liane Yvkoff is a freelance writer who blogs about cars for CNET Car Tech. E-mail Liane.
Liane Yvkoff
2 min read

Ford's Blind Spot Monitoring is proving to be a popular option with car buyers.
Ford's Blind Spot Monitoring is proving to be a popular option with car buyers. Ford

You no longer have to buy the biggest and most expensive vehicle to get the most advanced safety features in the market. Thanks to higher-than-expected consumer interest, Ford has been introducing safety technologies on more vehicles, and plans to roll out these offerings across the product line in the future.

Typically the latest and greatest safety technologies, such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and blind-spot-monitoring systems, are reserved for luxury brands or appear only on the biggest and most expensive vehicles a manufacturer produces. But to lower the cost for these options, Ford has been offering new safety technology on a range of products, including the Lincoln MKT, Lincoln MKS, Ford Edge, Ford Fusion, and Ford Explorer, to name a few. Making these options available on a wider selection of vehicles is a move that's paid off for the company, which says the take rate on some safety options is more than double what it forecast.

When the redesigned 2012 Ford Explorer hit the market, the automaker predicted that approximately 15 percent of car buyers would add the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) to their vehicle. However, early sales data shows that approximately 40 percent have opted for the safety feature. While only 23 percent of Explorer buyers were expected to add ACC, Active Park, and Rain Sensing Wipers to their SUV, almost 40 percent optioned up--almost double what Ford predicted.

It's not just shoppers of Ford's higher-end products who are splurging on safety technology. Ford says an impressive 85 percent of Fusion Hybrid buyers decided to spend some of the gas money they'll be saving on the Driver's Vision Package, which includes BLIS with cross-traffic alert, rear-view camera, and rain-sensing wipers. The Reverse Sensing System is added to 44 percent of all Fusion sales, and 84 percent of Fusion buyers opted for the hands-free Sync system.

Compacts and midsize vehicles are typically for more economically minded consumers, and therefore advanced technologies sometimes aren't even available to vehicles at lower price points. But given high consumer interest in all segments, Ford says it will migrate the safety technology to other products as they are updated.