Ford calls its lane departure warning system a lane keeping system.

When Ford redesigns the Fusion for the 2013 model year, the affordable midsize sedan will get an optional lane departure warning system.

“The technical tidbit is a tracking system that can help prevent drowsy or inattentive drivers from wandering out of their lane,” says The New York Times. “While similar technology has previously been offered on some automobiles, Octavio Navarro, a Ford spokesman, said in a telephone interview that the Fusion will be the first affordable nonluxury vehicle to offer this type of system.”

Ford calls the safety feature a lane keeping system (LKS), but it operates like other lane departure warning systems. “The Lane Keeping System uses a digital camera mounted on the windshield ahead of the rearview mirror, allowing the Fusion to watch the road ahead to detect an unintentional lane departure,” Ford says in a press release. The LKS only surveys the road when the driver turns it on, and once the Fusion reaches 40 mph, an LKS icon appears in the instrument panel to show that the system is working.

Ford also says the feature “takes advantage of the electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) used in the new Fusion to provide a vibrating alert to the driver and then gently steer the car back into the lane if the driver doesn’t respond.”

The $20,200 2012 Ford Fusion is one the best-selling midsize sedans in the United States, with consumers expected to purchase about 240,000 models by the end of the year, according to Inside Line. With a redesign in the works and an upscale safety feature like LKS on the option list, Inside Line says that “Ford is in an enviable position with the Fusion as the new model prepares to come out of the gate.”

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