More stories related to 2005 NAIAS DETROIT – As Ford Motor Co. unveils a concept-grade lane-departure warning (LDW) system at the North American International Auto Show here, Nissan North America Inc. launches a production-ready LDW system on a second Infiniti vehicle in as many years.

Ford’s Mercury Meta One concept, a rolling technology test bed and design teaser of a ’07 cross/utility vehicle features a camera-based LDW system developed in cooperation with Delphi Corp. and Volvo Cars and slated for implementation within the next few years. (See related story: Mercury Develops Meta One Safety Concept for Detroit Show)

Meanwhile, Nissan launches its ’06 M sedans with similar optional LDW systems, following the implementation of the technology in its FX CUV last year. Additionally, PSA Peugeot Citroen launched LDW on Citroen C4s last fall.

Meta One features concept LDW system.

Ford’s Volvo brand, known as a safety leader, is earmarked for the technology by 2010, but by then at least two auto makers will have been selling the technology for a half decade. (See related story: Volvo to Get Lane Departure Technology)

For now, Ford is working out the final kinks as it prepares its version for implementation-readiness, Phil Martens, group vice president-product creation tells Ward’s. Among the factors Ford is trying to figure out is whether to use vibrating seats or audible alarms to warn the driver of straying from a lane.

Ford is non-committal about which brands and what timeframe LDW will rollout, but Martens insists the technology will start with luxury brands and gradually matriculate to Blue Oval vehicles as the cost goes down and higher volume take rates are guaranteed.

The auto maker employed a similar approach with Continental AG’s Roll Stability Control, which debuted earlier in the decade on Volvo’s XC90 CUV and has since found life across Ford’s domestic SUVs.

When Ford does introduce its LDW technology, sources say it likely will be coupled with an automatic braking mitigation system, which brakes the car automatically in extreme situation by using the same camera employed in LDW. A braking mitigation system is part of the Meta One concept and under development by many global suppliers.

jstoll@primediabusiness.com