Sunday, March 6, 2016

New Car Technology Explained

  1. Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) - This one provides light steering assist when the lines are visible and not obstructed and only above 72 km/h (about 45 mph). It's good for highway cruising because you don't need to make minor corrections, the car keeps you dead centre in the lane (doesn't bounce side to side, just stays middle). It reduces fatigue. You can only take your hands off the steering wheel for a maximum of 10-15 sec or so before it cancels for safety reasons. You can use it to be bad and open a bottle of water or something while you're driving on the highway. I like it mainly for the fatigue reduction on long road trips. Lane mergers and split offs will confuse the system at times so you need to have your hands on the wheel. The key word is ASSIST. It's there to help you, not take over. As a side note, LKAS can even steer the car around moderate curves. It will not handle sharp curves (ie: tight mountain passes, hairpins, etc), but has no trouble with usual banked curves. EDIT: To add more information, it shows a set of dashed lines in the MID representing the lane lines. If they aren't showing up, the system is turned off. If they're hollow, the system can't detect the lines at the time. If they're solid, the system detects the lines and is actively steering.
  2. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) - You set a speed you want to go, and the car will follow the car in front of you up to but not exceeding the set speed. Meaning if the person in front of you slows down some, so does your car. The distance away from the person in front of you is configurable with a button on the steering wheel to extra long, long, normal, and short. This distance changes based on your speed. At higher speeds, "normal" is further than "normal" at slow speeds. You can also change cruise mode back to regular non-adaptive cruise control if you so choose. The system fucks up if someone cuts you off though. DO NOT USE IT ON A VERY BUSY HIGHWAY where people are cutting into your lane constantly. In fact, don't use cruise control at all in that situation. EDIT: To add more information, it shows the icon of a car in the MID representing the car in front of you. If this icon isn't showing up, the system is not activated. If it's hollow, no vehicle was detected in front of you. If it's solid, it's locked on to the vehicle in front of you.
  3. Low Speed Follow (LSF) - A variant of ACC. Uses the adaptive cruise radar in low speed stop-and-go traffic with a configurable distance setting. It'll follow the car in front of you so all you need to do is steer. Only works at slow speeds (less than about 40 km/h, not sure on the exact number). The vehicle can and will bring itself to a complete stop if traffic stops in front of you. If it does come to a complete stop on its own, it requires that you either tap the gas pedal or press "Resume" on the cruise control button for positive confirmation that you actually want to go forward. I love this feature in stop and go commuting by the way. Seems to work really consistently and really well. You need to pay attention though in case someone cuts you off. You always need to pay attention no matter what. Again this is for reducing fatigue.
  4. Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) - If the system detects that you're approaching a slower-moving or stationary object at a faster speed than it thinks is safe (ie: it determines a crash is likely), then it'll brake the car to reduce the speed at which you hit the object. It MAY be able to stop completely in time, or it may not. It simply exists to reduce the severity of a collision that's unavoidable.
  5. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) - This is slightly different than CMBS. It has an adjustable distance (extra long, long, normal, or short) at which to warn you that a collision might be imminent without driver input at your current speed. If the system activates (and I've seen mine activate a few times where someone brake-checks me or where someone slams on the brakes to turn suddenly), the system will flash BRAKE at you in the multi-information display in front of you, and my car also has a heads up display that spams BRAKE in big orange letters in front of my eyes. It also beeps at you 3 times in quick succession. If you fail to act, CMBS may take over and brake the car.
  6. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) - Shakes the steering wheel if you start to wander out of your lane without signaling. Also says Lane Departure in your MID (multi-information display).
  7. Road Departure Warning (RDW) - same as LDW except warns you when you get too close to the road shoulder by beeping loudly and shaking the steering wheel. This is so if you fall asleep while driving, your chances of crashing aren't as bad.
  8. Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) - Uses the rear parking sensor radar transceivers as a check to see if anyone is coming up in your blind spot. If they are, the yellow light on the mirror corner panel inside the car illuminates. If this light is illuminated and your signal is on, you'll hear 3 beeps in quick succession.

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