So far three of the car industry’s most hyped collision prevention technologies have been put to the test by British Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre Thatcham, and I am happy to say that the trio were successful when it came to mitigating and preventing low speed collisions. These new technologies are the Volvo City Safety, Mercedes Distronic Plus, and Honda CMBS that utilize radar systems when it comes to performing their functions. They’ll be extremely important where saving lives are concerned since statistics show that 75% of all motor accidents are low speed collisions.
According to Matthew Avery, Thatcham Research Manager, “They will make a major impact on the number of slow speed accidents – in Britain and across the World. I believe that if manufacturers embrace the new systems and fit them as standard – more than 125,000 injuries will be prevented each year in Britain alone.”
First off, we have the Volvo City Safety system that features a laser radar (also known as LIDAR) that tracks the distance and speed of the car in front of the driver. Mounted on the windscreen, it is capale of renewing its calculations up to 50 times per second, pre-charging brakes should the risk of a collision run high before the driver even knows it. A spider sense mechanism in a Volvo? I like the sound of that.
Mercedes’ Distronic Plus technology is somewhat similar to Volvo’s offering, featuring a form of radar to maintain safe distance from neighbouring cars. It works differently as a couple of radars on the Distronic Plus are connected to the car’s cruise control for an extra level of autonomy to the system. It is capable of operating even at 200 km/h, allowing your car to remain in sync with traffic no matter what the condition is. This reminds me of the “auto follow” mode in TIE Fighter back during the good old DOS days, where pressing the “Enter” key will automatically match my TIE Fighter’s speed with the space craft directly in front of me.
All in all, I hope to see such improvements make they way to vehicle systems soonest possible.