Forward-Collision Warning, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Automatic Emergency Braking, and other advanced safety systems are keeping drivers safe. These systems use radar, cameras, and other sensors to keep an eye on what’s happening on the roads around them. Using onboard computers, they process the collected information and respond when a crash appears imminent.
Forward-Collision Warning (FCW)
This safety feature uses cameras, radar, or lasers to watch the road ahead and monitor relative speed and distances between vehicles. It provides a visual, audible, and/or tactile warning of an impending collision with a pedestrian, car, or another object. These systems are sometimes accompanied by auto-braking features that will automatically hit the brakes if the driver fails to heed the warning.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Using radar and forward-facing cameras, the AEB system detects potential collisions and warns the driver of an impending forward crash with another car, object, or pedestrian. If the driver fails to react in time, the system automatically applies the brakes to prevent or reduce the severity of a crash.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
LDW is a camera-based driver-safety feature that monitors the vehicle’s position within lane markings. If the car approaches or crosses lane markers without the turn signal activated, the system sounds an alert or vibrates the seat.
Lane-Keeping Assistance (LKA)
LKA gives steering input to help prevent lane departure. While some systems provide audible or visual alerts, some make corrections to the steering to recenter the vehicle in the lane.
Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
This system uses sonar sensors in the rear bumpers to watch vehicles in a driver’s blind spot. Most cars with this feature have warning lights on the dashboard or side mirrors that flash or illuminate to indicate that it might be unsafe to change or merge lanes. Some systems also provide an audible warning when the driver signals to change lanes and a vehicle is detected close by.
Driver-Attention Monitor (DAM)
This feature is designed to help prevent accidents caused by distracted and drowsy driving. The system uses driver-facing cameras to track the face for signs of fatigue, distraction, or sleepiness. It also uses infrared sensors to monitor the volume of steering corrections and the car’s movements to look for signs that the driver may not be attentively driving. If the driver is not paying attention, the system provides warning sounds, flashing lights, or a strong vibration to encourage taking a break from driving.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
ACC uses radar, lasers, and/or cameras to scan the road ahead and maintain a safe following distance. If the system detects a slower-moving object in front of the car, it automatically adjusts the speed or brings the car to a stop. It will accelerate back up the set speed when traffic gets going again.