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Techies 2011 - Best Car Safety System: Ford Focus Driver Assistance Pack

Date: 23 August 2011

When the new Ford Focus was launched earlier this year, on offer with the new product was a package of safety systems Ford pulled together as the Driver Assistance Pack.

For a range of safety systems brought together as one option, normally a price well into four figures would be expected, but Ford priced it all at just £750, or as it points out, 68p per day over three years.

For that, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, driver fatigue alert, blind spot monitor, traffic sign recognition, auto high beam assist and low speed safety systems are all fitted to the car. That's a big tick next to the box marked Duty of Care.

The most useful of those are possibly the low speed safety system, which prevents or mitigates accidents in urban areas, and the driver alert, which monitors driver behaviour, and sounds an alert if it senses that the driver is tiring. The traffic sign recognition system reads speed signs as you pass, and will flash up a warning if the driver is exceeding the limit by a pre-set amount. But the entire package, for the money, is an impressive achievement, and has led to a well-deserved victory in the 2011 Techies.

Highly commended is this category is Volkswagen for its safety systems.

The firm's fatigue detection is standard on SE and Sport Passats, a move to be applauded, while the automatic distance control system is a £685 option. It's impressive and useful technology, but very few will pay that much for the one system as they don't realise they need it until it's too late.