2019 Ford Edge, Edge ST Gain AI AWD For Better Grip And Fuel Economy

Not all versions of the 2019 Ford Edge and Edge ST have all-wheel drive, but those that do will benefit from a new system that uses artificial intelligence (AI).

A first-for-Ford, the new technology is called ‘All-Wheel-Drive Disconnect’ and uses the information collected from dozens of sensors to determine whether all-wheel drive is needed.

The system calculates the data received in a fraction of a second and can shift between two- and all-wheel drive almost instantly. The brain of the electronic system communicates constantly with the Traction Control to detect wheel slip. It also receives inputs from the ABS, and can detect whether the windshield wipers are on, what’s the outside temperature and if the SUV is towing a trailer behind it.

However, having the windshield wipers on won’t engage all-wheel drive, as the algorithm, which uses ‘fuzzy logic’, combines the information received from the numerous sensors. It constantly monitors and processes the data and needs only 10 milliseconds to decide whether the vehicle needs AWD or not. Depending on the situation, the powertrain can channel up to 100 percent of the available power from the front to the rear wheels.

Also Watch: Should Ford’s Edge Be In Your Crossover Shopping List?

“The concept is pretty simple, it was the execution that was the challenge. Shifting between two- and all-wheel drive needs to be fast and seamless enough that the customer doesn’t know it is happening”, said the brand’s driveline applications supervisor, Scott Beiring. “It’s like your or I determining what to wear based on reading a weather forecast, where we’re going, the time of year and looking outside.”

Thanks to the ‘All-Wheel-Drive Disconnect’, the 2019 Ford Edge returns an EPA-estimated 21/28/23 mpg (25/34/28 mpg UK / 11/8/10 l/100 km) in city/highway/combined. FWD models have fuel economy ratings of 22/29/25 mpg (26/35/30 mpg UK / 11/8/9 l/100 km), while the Edge ST returns 19/26/21 mpg (23/31/25 mpg UK / 12/9/11 l/100 km).

Other fuel-saving measures include exhaust gas recirculation, deceleration fuel shut-off -which stops the fuel flow to the engine if speed is being reduced-, active transmission warm-up that uses the reclaimed heat energy to warm up the gearbox faster, and two overdrive gears for the new 8-speed auto which drop the rpm during highway cruising.

Further improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics are the active grille shutters, full underbody shields and air curtains, whose purpose is to reduce drag.

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  • performante

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  • dumblikeyou2

    Sounds like good tech, but I wish it weren’t in something so damned long in the tooth looking.

  • xDRAN0x

    Lol AI in a Ford Edge smh

  • TheBelltower

    Of all the bad decisions Ford has been making lately, the Edge is the exception. It’s a great crossover that they shouldn’t allow to grow stale.

  • javier

    whatever, on or off better

  • Matthew Boyd

    Edge or MB EQC? Just saying what you’re all thinking.

  • john1168

    But can it deliver power to either of the rear wheels if one of them slip when the power goes rearward??? I’m guessing no. There are many systems that can send power front and rear but with an open diff in the back it doesn’t matter all that much when conditions get really slippery or rough. I’m thinking of the criss cross tests (I don’t know what you call the tests so I use the term criss cross) you see when people test awd systems on youtube.

    • brn

      You’re guessing wrong. Our ’17 Escape can do that. Ford’s AWD systems are already well above average.

      • john1168

        With a rear limited slip diff in the rear or with an open rear diff and using brake torque vectoring. I could be wrong but I highly doubt your Escape has an LSD in the rear diff.

        • brn

          Yes on torque vectoring. I believe you’re correct about LSD. If I”m reading correctly, locking center diff.

          I wouldn’t begin to pretend its an off roader, but it’s AWD is better than most in its class.

          • john1168

            The Escape does have one of the better AWD systems where it delivers 100% torque front or rear, locks to 50/50 and then uses the brakes for the left right stuff. Very similar to the NON-LSD 4matic, quattro and x drive systems I think. Infact, I wished they used the Escapes awd system in the awd Fusion but they used a cheaper set up there. I don’t think this new “AI” system uses AI though. I think it’s just an improved version of what you have in the Escape. I like the Escape. I hope you are enjoying it:)

  • f1300

    Oh, come on! That system hasn’t anything to do at all with A. I.! And that other IT-buzzword, “fuzzy logic”, proves that all too well. I can’t see anything new here, which hasn’t been put onto the road by other brands already.

    • john1168

      It’s all marketing horse $h!t. I highly doubt there’s any AI unit at all. There are other awd systems out there that do the same thing. Some systems are even better without the AI BS.

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