Understanding New Vehicle Warning Systems

by ‎01-22-2015 12:36 PM - edited ‎01-26-2015 03:16 PM (7,071 Views)

Blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems can help prevent a car crash, but drivers need to know their limits.

 

AAA’s Automotive Engineering experts are confident new advanced driver assistance technologies like blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems have great potential to keep you and others safer on the road, but they do have limitations.

 

“With nearly three-quarters of 2014 vehicles offering blind-spot detection and 50 percent offering lane-departure warning as options, it’s key that consumers are educated on how to get the best benefit from these systems,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering.

 

Blind-spot monitoring (BSM) systems use radar sensors to detect a vehicle in the rear area that is difficult to see with mirrors. If you activate the turn signal when a vehicle is detected in this area, an icon in the side mirror or inside the windshield pillar will flash or the system will provide an auditory warning.

 

Lane-departure warning (LDW) systems alert you when you unintentionally drift too close to the edges of the lane via an alarm sound or by vibrating the driver’s steering wheel or seat, creating a feeling like driving over a rumble strip.

 

AAA recently evaluated these two systems, and while both performed effectively in multiple situations, the tests uncovered scenarios where the systems failed to perform as expected. This included delayed warnings by the blind-spot monitoring technologies and lane-departure warning systems failing to track the lane under certain road conditions.  

 

 

 AAA’s research found that: 

  • Both systems performed as expected, alerting drivers properly in most traffic and weather conditions.
  • BSM systems detected target vehicles in most traffic conditions as well as parked vehicles, but had difficulty detecting fast-moving vehicles—such as when merging onto a busy highway. Alerts were often provided too late for evasive action.
  • Motorcycles were detected by BSM systems 26 percent later than passenger vehicles.
  • LDW systems improve lane-keeping by up to 34%, and in one study cut unintentional lane crossing in half.
  • Road conditions were often a problem for LDW systems. Worn pavement markers, construction zones and intersections can cause the LDW system to lose track of lane location.
  • The litany of alerts and warnings given by these systems could be confusing. Auditory, visual or haptic responses—or a combination—could be similar to other advanced driver assistance features that delivered the same warnings.

 

Pros and cons aside, you will likely encounter advanced driver assistance technology soon as automakers cascade these devices across vehicle lines.

 

“AAA’s tests found that these systems are a great asset to drivers,” Nielsen said, “but there is a learning curve.”

 

To see AAA’s rating and additional information about these and other in-vehicle technologies, visit AAAFoundation.org/ratings-vehicle-safety-technology

 

Photo Credit: thexpert/Getty Images/Thinkstock

 

AAA National, December 2014

Comments
by IGoZoom
on ‎01-23-2016 02:22 PM
I have Blind Spot Monitoring on my 2012 Mazda CX-9 and wouldn't buy another car without it! It's a very useful safety feature.
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