If you’re considering buying a new car, then you’re in for a treat! Nowadays, car makers are all about keeping your safe on the road. You can now buy a vehicle with integrated safety systems to help you avoid or reduce the impact of a crash in unanticipated circumstances such as stepping on emergency brakes. We break it down to you further.
Lane-keeping Assist (LKA)
LKA helps you return to your lane whenever you drift out. It depends on the painted markings (along and around the edges of the road) to function. When you drive off your lane, LKA triggers a warning light on your dashboard. It may also cause your seat or steering wheel to vibrate. Or, you may hear a sound. It will allow you some time to get back to the center of the lane, failure to which it will gently steer you to the safest part of the road.
It is worth noting that LKA will not operate on faded or overly complicated markings. Also, it will not detect the markings on a road covered with snow. Plus, you will de-activate this feature by turning your lane.
Lane-departure Warning (LDW)
Just like LKA, the lane-departure warning is all about helping you stay in your lane. It seeks to prevent crashes whenever you are cruising at high a speed on the highway or freeway. It monitors the markings on the road and sounds off an alarm when you deviate from your lane. Your job is to take a corrective action to prevent a collision with another vehicle. LDW uses a video camera to detect the markings on the road.
Lane-centering Assist is a safety feature that works by keeping your car centered in the lane. The result is that it relieves you from steering. This function uses the principle of Canny edge detectors and Hough transforms to detect road marking in real-time. It then feeds the lights in your dashboard to alert you that you’re veering off. It will, however, not detect overlapping or old lane marks. It essential to note at this point that the one thing separating systems is how accurate they perform on turns, specific speed limits and whether the functionality resumes after you’ve stopped your car.
Rear Automatic Emergency Braking (Rear AEB)
AEB is indeed one of the best-advanced safety features you’ll appreciate having in your car. It warns you of an imminent crash, which in turn allows you to apply brakes on your car immediately. While AEB is about bringing your vehicle to a screeching halt, it is will also break independently in critical situations or when you take no action. AEB is available in three options.
Low-Speed System – Works in crowded areas such as cities to detect other cars in front of yours. That way, it helps prevent minor collisions and injuries such as whiplash.
Higher Speed System – Scans a range of up to 200 meters in front of you when driving at high speeds.
Pedestrian Systems – Identifies pedestrian movements and their distance from your car to determine the probability of collision.
And then there is the front warning system that varies from one carmaker to the other. Some models feature two or more AEB systems.
Rear Cross-traffic Warning (RCTA)
RCTA warns you of vehicles entering your backing path. It works on the idea that you may not be in a position to see the cars fast enough so it “keeps watch” on your behalf whether on the road or parking lot. RCTA features smart chips and because it is at the rear end of your vehicle, it will detect cars approaching you from the right and left. It then sounds off a warning tone or illuminates your dashboard as a cue to stop.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Just as the name suggests, this features brakes your car automatically to help prevent a collision. Most AEB systems use radar or lidar-based technology to detect potential crashes. In other words, it can sense when a critical situation is developing. It either warns you that you need to reduce your speed or apply full braking force. The intention here is to lower the speed at which you crash into another vehicle and to reduce the severity of injuries. Statistics indicate that AEB helps reduce collision by up to 50%.
Blind-spot Warning (BSW)
BSW alerts you about the presence of other cars in blind spots, diagonally behind your car. These indicators are either in the side view mirror or A-pillar of your automobile. BSW warns you of the other car by flashing the indicator or generating a sound. You can also configure this function to use the rear view camera or side-facing radars.
Forward-collision Warning (FCW)
FCW scans the road ahead of you as you drive. It warns you if you’re about to ram into a stalled or slower moving car. It can also detect stationary objects even though this capability differs from one model to the other so you may want to check your owner’s manual. FCW uses sensor placed in front of your vehicle to determine how close the other vehicle is. The sensors apply real-time camera technology. Alerts come in form of audible sound, vibrations, visuals, a sudden brake pulse or a combination of warnings. The only thing you need to do is to make sure that you remove any build-up on your automobile before driving off to keep the sensors working.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control reduces or increases your car’s speed to maintain a specific distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Recent versions can even slow or stop your auto in traffic jams and accelerate for you as need be. This feature uses sensors or computer connected cameras to scan the road ahead of you or your lane while driving.
You’re better off with a car that ensures you stay safe on the road. You see, even with years of experience, you can’t rule out the fact that miscalculation may occur and that where these safety features become a real lifesaver.