General Motors announced its latest safety feature: a new front-mounted rear-end crash avoidance system. The system uses a single high-resolution digital camera mounted at the top of the windshield to identify other vehicles and lane markings. GM claims the system is the first of its kind and is offering it on the GMC Terrain SUV for $295. Visual and audible alerts warn the driver if they are following too close, when a collision is imminent, or if the car leaves its lane without signaling. It’s reported that the system will also eventually be offered as an option on the Chevrolet Equinox and Cadillac SRX.
GM says that the National Automotive Sampling System estimates rear-end crashes account for roughly 28 percent of the nearly 6 million traffic incidents reported to police annually. According to GM’s press release, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes the majority of rear-end collisions to inattentive drivers and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the new system could potentially prevent rear-end collisions.
The crash avoidance system displays solid green “vehicle ahead” and “lanes detected” icons when it senses another vehicle in front of it or lanes painted on the ground. When the system perceives a crash with the vehicle in front a red “forward collision alert” icon flashes and the system sounds a warning beep. If the collision is deemed imminent the system pre-charges the vehicle’s brakes for maximum braking. If the vehicle leaves its lane without the driver signaling the system flashes an amber “lane departure warning” icon and sounds a warning chime. The forward collision alert works at speeds above 25 mph and the lane departure warning works at speeds above 35 mph.
The system’s software is busy studying 14 frames per second to calculate if the distance of a forward vehicle is decreasing at an unsafe rate. Driver inputs such as accelerator, brake and steering changes are also taken into account. It is also designed to work at night and can recognize taillights.
The system is available now for the GMC Terrain, priced at $295.
Source: General Motors