(from Mercury Press
Release) Mercury Meta One is an advanced research vehicle
concept from Ford Motor Company displaying the evolution of
automotive design, research and engineering with emerging safety
features, personal electronics and the world’s first PZEV diesel
"Meta One is a valuable test-bed for advanced technologies allowing
us to demonstrate future safety and powertrain technologies that
exist only in theory and in laboratories today," said Gerhard
Schmidt, Ford Motor Company vice president, Research and Advanced
Meta One Design
Mercury Meta One’s name
is derived from the Greek word "meta," meaning "transcends" or "goes
beyond." In the case of the Mercury Meta One concept, the name
connotes the concept's personality, which transcends the expected in
a passenger vehicle.
Meta One’s interior provides a "Zen-like" personal experience for
its occupants with interior themes that can be customized to
Meta One stretches the distinct sophistication of Mercury’s design
DNA by investigating horizontal themes along with the interplay
between differing surface treatments. It borrows its contemporary
look from the Mariner SUV and Montego sedan.
Mercury will build a new production crossover vehicle in 2007. Meta
One explores adaptation of the Mercury design DNA to a crossover and
gives a hint of what such a product could represent for the brand.
Advanced Safety Technologies
With a focus on accident
prevention, Ford Motor Company is developing safety technologies
that warn the driver when a vehicle wanders from its travel lane and
even applies the brakes if an accident is imminent. These
technologies are featured on the Mercury Meta One, Ford's most
advanced scientific research concept vehicle.
Much of the science of automobile safety has focused on passive
systems, like airbags, safety belts and vehicle structure that
protect occupants during a crash. Ford is researching and applying
active safety measures in production vehicles and concepts designed
to help prevent or lessen the severity of many accidents.
Lane Departure Warning
Ford's Lane Departure
Warning is a mechanized vision system designed to recognize lane
markings and a vehicle's lateral position relative to those
markings. It can provide a visual, audible and/or haptic (vibrating)
warning to the driver if the vehicle departs from a distinguishable
lane without activation of the appropriate turn signal.
In the Meta One concept, a right lane departure triggers a vibration
to the right side of the driver’s seat; a left lane departure spurs
vibration of the left side of the driver’s seat.
In Lane Departure Warning, vehicle position is evaluated by a camera
system mounted behind the windshield that measures the lateral
distance from the camera's center line to the left and right lane
markings. The system works during the day or at night while
headlights are in use. Naturally, the system does not warn the
driver if the turn signals are used before changing lanes. The
system is still under development for conditions without clear lane
markings and overall system reliability.
Collision Mitigation by Braking
The Research and
Advanced Engineering group of Ford Motor Company, in cooperation
with researchers at the Volvo Safety Center, developed Collision
Mitigation by Braking or CMbB system fitted to the Mercury Meta One
concept to demonstrate how crash severity can be reduced.
Sensors are used to gauge the likelihood of an impending frontal
collision. If the driver fails to react to a situation the system
determines will result in a collision, the system applies the
brakes. This will significantly reduce the impact speed and crash
energy. If the driver reacts with full braking, CMbB provides
enhanced system response that quickly initiates full ABS braking.
Importantly, the system assumes the driver has ultimate authority;
it will not interfere with any potential evasive maneuver the driver
initiates. The system functions in high speed and low speed
Every mile per hour that a vehicle is slowed before impact reduces
the energy of a crash, which in turn, can potentially reduce
possible injuries to drivers and passengers.
Ford's CMbB utilizes a camera and radar to sense vehicles on the
road ahead and an on-board computer, which determines whether a
collision is imminent based on the position, speed and direction of
other vehicles. The CMbB system, based on its estimates of collision
threat and driver intent, provides driver warning and enhanced brake
control when needed. Depending on speed and road factors, the
automatic braking can reduce vehicle speed before contact by five
miles per hour or more. The radar and camera systems are under
development so that the system works reliably in heavy rain, fog and
other adverse driving conditions.
"A reduction of even a few mph in the speed of an impact can make a
difference," said Priya Prasad, Ford Technical Fellow, Safety
Research and Development. "The amount of energy at impact is a
strong function of speed, so even a slight reduction in speed offers
a significant reduction in force."
Meta One Integrates Personal
The Mercury Meta One
concept showcases an electronics system that integrates the latest
level of in-vehicle technologies with a factory-installed interface.
Chief among these technologies is "Wi-Fi," the rapidly growing
wireless technology used most often by laptop computers. Meta One
has a factory-installed wireless "portal" that can be used to tap
into a wealth of information and entertainment services.
In addition, Meta One has the ability to receive streaming video
entertainment from the SIRIUS satellite network. Passengers in the
Meta One can instantly access a range of live video, from cartoons
to feature films, through the entertainment system.
The Mercury Meta One concept incorporates three technologies
designed specifically to address the ever-increasing pace of change
in our lives.
the Roads: using next-generation technology to offer
real-time traffic data and route guidance.
KeyDA Keeps You
Comfortably on Schedule: bringing the almost unlimited
personal data of a PDA—from seat position presets to emergency
contact lists—in the form of the Meta One’s ignition key.
Displays Adapt: allowing the driver to size and place
instruments to suit preferences and needs.
PZEV-Capable Diesel Burns
Designed to be the
world’s first Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV)-capable diesel
hybrid powertrain, the Mercury Meta One concept not only provides an
astounding 431 lb.-ft. of torque but also is 97 percent cleaner than
the Tier I emissions standard for NOx. Meta One shows that diesels
can potentially meet the strictest emissions standards when combined
with modern hybrid and after-treatment technologies.
"As the world’s first PZEV capable diesel, the Mercury Meta One
concept shows that advanced technologies that we’re developing
promise the potential to deliver diesels that can be as clean as the
cleanest gasoline engines," said Schmidt. "The torque of this
engine, when combined with the modular hybrid-electric transmission,
also provides excellent driving performance."
The Mercury Meta One concept draws its power from a
twin-turbocharged V-6 diesel engine and an electric motor in the
modular hybrid transmission that together produce as much torque as
a large V-10 gasoline engine – with much lower fuel consumption.
Combined with an advanced exhaust after-treatment system, the
powertrain provides an unprecedented combination of power and
The Mercury Meta One concept’s engine is calibrated to run on a
special renewable fuel that minimizes the vehicle’s overall
production of carbon dioxide or CO2, a "greenhouse gas" that is a
primary contributor to global warming.
In partnership with BP, Ford is exploring the performance of this
biomass-sourced diesel fuel. This fuel can be blended with
conventional diesel fuel to provide a corresponding reduction in
lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. Since the fuel comes from
biological feedstocks that absorb CO2 during their growth, the fuel
is said to close the "carbon loop" because the vehicle’s carbon
emissions are offset by the carbon-negative fuel production.
The Mercury Meta One was created through a partnership formed among
Ford’s Advanced Design Studio, Ford Research and Advanced
Engineering, Ford Brand Imaging, Lincoln Mercury Marketing and a
host of technology suppliers.