As more and more areas of our daily lives become computerized and automated, it’s most certainly not a surprise that our personal vehicles are no different. Every year, we see our European vehicles being released with more automated features, from safety to entertainment purposes and everything in between. It’s important to understand these systems to help keep us safe, alert and secure – both on the inside of our vehicles and for other drivers on the road. In the near future, electric vehicles could even advance to the point where they talk to each other, and self-driving cars could become the norm. In this blog post, we will define some of the most important safety features and driver assistance systems as well as provide information about safety sensors.
Defining and Understanding Driver Assistance Terms
Each driver assistance system is different, and naturally, they depend on the year and the model in question. Sometimes these systems can become obstructed by dirt or road grime, or could simply malfunction. Some of the most common and important driver assistance systems include:
Intelligence brake assists – this safety feature will cause the vehicle to boost the brakes if it senses that it needs to do so.
Forward collision alert – this driver feature will alert you if the vehicle senses that a front end collision is likely, usually with a loud beeping noise. Depending on the vehicle, the brakes will be applied.
Collision mitigation braking system – If this system senses that you should be braking but you aren’t doing so, it will automatically brake for you in order to avoid a collision.
Rear cross-traffic alert – this system will alert the driver if other vehicles are approaching from the side. A beeping sound will alert the driver, and an arrow will indicate where the vehicle is coming from, either left or right.
Reverse/ Parking assistant – this system will beep if a driver is close to colliding with an object that is behind them. Most newer vehicles also feature a rear-facing safety camera.
Tailgating alert – as the name of this system implies, it alerts the driver if they are following too closely behind the vehicle in front of them.
Sensors for Driver Assistance Systems
In order for our driver assistance systems to function at their best, their sensors need to be at their best. They must be free from obstruction and clean. Many drivers don’t realize that window decals or EZ passes can easily block these important sensors. Bad weather can also obstruct the view of these sensors, such as causing a pedestrian warning system to come on unnecessarily.
Just as it’s important to properly maintain your vehicle by getting regular oil changes and tire rotations, most auto shops will be able to help you keep these safety sensors operating properly. At Otto’s European, we will perform a full diagnostic scan of your safety sensors and your assistance systems to ensure their proper functionality. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about these important systems. Give us a call today for directions or to make an appointment.