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The system uses bumper-mounted radar and a camera in the windshield to collect information and compare it to a database of common pedestrian shapes. If one is detected, the driver is warned with sounds and visual alerts and if it doesn't brake, the auto does it for them.

Ford has announced it is introducing new technology that can detect pedestrians at night and then automatically brake if a driver doesn't heed initial audible and visual warnings.

Ford wants to implement some exciting new tech for the upcoming F-150 and Mustang for the 2018MY. To test it, some lucky Ford employees got to hang around closed tracks at night, pushing dummies into the path of cars.

The feature, which is an extension of Ford's radar and camera-sensing equipment used in adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance, is able to identify a human shape at night and then automatically brake the vehicle if the driver does not respond to initial warnings.

Catchily named Pedestrian Detection, the system already existed for daytime, but it's now equipped for after-dark street-wanderers too. If the processor determines that a collision with a pedestrian could occur, it first alerts the driver with sound and visual signals.

"We know some drivers find hitting the road at night a stressful experience".

Citing data from a survey of European drivers, Ford notes that more than 80 percent admit to trepidation on the road at night, and 1 in 5 fear a pedestrian collision.

Ford introduced the technology after commissioning a poll of United Kingdom and mainland European drivers about driving at night. According to Ford, one in five road fatalities in 2014 involved a pedestrian; and of those, almost half were struck by vehicles after dark.