When was the last time you saw a one-megapixel camera hailed as a great leap forward? Not recently, we'll wager, but the new Front Split View cam rolling out as an option on new Ford Galaxy and S-MAX models makes up in life-saving potential what it lacks in envelope-pushing spec.
Nestled in the grille of your spanky new Ford, the Front Split View offers a full 180-degree view "around corners" as you nose out of blind junctions, a garage or driveway.
Described as a "first in segment" advance, whatever that means, FSV uses a one-megapixel camera just 33mm wide to scan either side of your exit point, picking out cyclists, pedestrians and Jeremy Clarkson being pursued at high speed by irate Argentinians before you hit them/get hit by them.
The view comes up on cars' eight-inch touchscreens, while rather niftily, the camera's lens is kept clean with its own retractable jet washer. Just like James Bond, if he were worried about safety and drove an affordable multi-passenger vehicle.
FSV is just part of a wealth of new safety options on 2015's Galaxy and S-MAX MPVs. Other life-preserving functionality includes an Intelligent Speed Limiter, which scans traffic signs and slows you down if you're not paying to attention to what they're telling you, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which starts whacking on the brakes when people/deer/other cars/Clarkson pursued by pitchfork wielding mobs suddenly appear in scanning range. Finally, there's Glare-Free Highbeam LED headlamps, which reduce dazzle for oncoming drivers while keeping the road lit.
“We have all been there and it's not just blind junctions that can be stressful, sometimes an overhanging tree, or bushes can be the problem,” says Ronny Hause, engineer, Driver Assistance Electronic Systems, Ford of Europe. “For some, simply driving off their own driveways is a challenge. Much like rear-view cameras, Front Split View Camera is one of those technologies that people will soon wonder how they managed without.”
If you're thinking, "Hey, what I really want now is to hear Ronny saying those words, but in German," then watch this handy informational clip from Ford, immediately. The rest of it is in English.