How The 2019 Ford Edge Uses Artificial Intelligence To Enhance Traction And Fuel Efficiency

The new Ford Edge will be more advanced than ever, as it will utilize artificial intelligence to enhance traction and improve fuel efficiency through the vehicle’s new all-wheel-drive disconnect feature.

The AI in the vehicle allows it to detect different driving conditions and automatically shift between all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive for better traction. This all-wheel-drive disconnect feature also reduces fuel consumption by disconnecting from all-wheel drive when it is not needed.

Ford says the technology can calculate whether to disconnect from AWD quicker than the human brain thanks to a number of high-tech sensors that help quicken the technology’s decision-making skills.

Scott Beiring, Ford’s driveline applications supervisor, said the concept wasn’t hard to come up with, it was the execution that provided the challenge.

“The concept is pretty simple, it was the execution that was the challenge,” he said. “Shifting between two- and all-wheel drive needs to be fast and seamless enough that the customer doesn’t know it is happening.”

Ford said in a statement that the system uses a “dedicated electronic brain” that receives signals from sensors located throughout the vehicle.

“It interacts with the traction control system to detect wheel slip, receiving inputs from the anti-lock brakes to learn if that system is active. It even detects if the windshield wipers are on, whether the Edge is towing a trailer, and the outside temperature,” the statement reads.

An algorithm in the system uses what Ford describes as “fuzzy logic” to determine whether to engage all-wheel drive or not. Fuzzy logic refers to the systems ability to take into account of variety of factors, not just one.

“‘Fuzzy logic’ refers to the algorithm,” Beiring said. “It’s like you or I determining what to wear based on reading a weather forecast, where we’re going, the time of year and looking outside. In the case of the new Edge, just because the windshield wipers are on doesn’t mean all-wheel drive is going to engage. The algorithm makes the call based on a variety of things that are happening – but much faster than a person could process.

The technology will be available on the 2019 Ford Edge and 2019 Ford ST.

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