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Forward Collision Warning

March 31, 2019

Why You Need Forward Collision Warning

When it comes to the advent of technology in vehicles, one of the things that you should definitely be paying closer attention to is forward collision warning systems. This system is one that can keep you safer and can make sure that whatever is going on around you your vehicle is going to be keeping an eye out for you. That’s because forward collision warning keeps track of how the vehicles in front of you are moving in order to reduce the risk of you being in an accident.

 

What it Is

First, let’s take a look at what forward collision warning really is and what it means. In general, it’s a system that’s actually in place at the front of your vehicle to determine if you are in danger of getting into a front-end collision. If the collision can be avoided it generally notifies the driver using some system of warning, like likes and sounds. This gives the driver enough time to react by seeing the danger and braking. On the other hand, with some systems, if the crash is imminent, meaning there is no time for the driver to react, the vehicle does the reacting for you.

If the vehicle has to take action it actually brakes quickly, steers out of the way or attempts to do both in order to avoid the crash. If the crash is not avoidable the automatic system is still able to reduce the danger and severity of the crash. This can help to keep everyone involved much safer including the driver of the vehicle with the system and the driver of any other vehicle that might be in front of them. Because the system reacts on its own there’s no potential for human error.

 

How it Works

There are three different types of sensors and systems that work together to create or separately to create this system and make it most effective. First, a radar system that’s designed to be all-weather is used to detect what’s happening in the road ahead. In some vehicles a laser and camera may also be used to add in even better detection software and to make sure that the vehicle’s computer system can detect anything. On top of that, these vehicles also have GPS sensors that are designed to locate items that are fixed rather than those that are mobile (stop signs versus vehicles).

When one of these systems detects that there is danger of a crash they alert the driver. If the driver does not respond or there is not time for the driver to respond the vehicle will initiate the process as we already discussed. When the vehicle is traveling at a low speed, stopping the vehicle may be enough to avoid the accident. When the vehicle is traveling at a higher speed however it may be necessary to swerve or steer away from the obstacle in order to avoid it. The vehicle computer system is able to better judge and react to these decisions than a human driver.

 

The Future of Collision Avoidance

Currently, there are only certain vehicles which use this type of system and car manufacturers are slowly starting to trickle it out into more and more. But this is expected to take a dramatic turn because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, manufacturers of vehicles in the United States have agreed to implement it in nearly all of their vehicles. Even better, these manufacturers have actually agreed to a date, stating that this will be in nearly all of their vehicles by 2022.

 

Forward Collision Warning vs. Autonomous Emergency Braking

We talked about systems that can automatically brake for you, however these are actually two different systems that are sometimes used together. Forward collision warning means that the vehicle and the computer system are going to alert you that there is a problem and that action needs to be taken immediately. This means that there will be lights or audible alerts that let you know about the danger in the roadway ahead or directly in front of the vehicle, wherever it’s going.

Autonomous emergency braking is a separate system and is responsible for braking immediately if there is something dangerous in the road. With this system, the brakes are only applied if there is a situation where danger is imminent. Also, the vehicle does what it needs to do automatically, without needing any form of input from whoever is driving. Also, the goal is to attempt to avoid an accident through the application of brakes. Some vehicles combine these two features while others may have only one of them.

 

The Early Version

As far back as the 1950’s Cadillac actually had a prototype that included radar technology that was used to recognize obstacles. Of course, as a prototype this was something that was eliminated long before the vehicle ever made it into production. It was considered far too costly to be actually produced. It took another 40 years before another system was created that was similar to the original technology. It was also a radar technology, but it wasn’t actually produced widely and very few actually had or even knew about the technology. It was quite a while later before it actually became anywhere near common or well known.

Today, a number of car manufacturers actually use this type of technology in some form or another. And it’s continuing to grow. Since the agreement that’s been entered into we now know that it will only continue to grow and that eventually we will have all vehicles with forward collision avoidance and possibly even autonomous emergency braking. As we move on with ADAS we know that eventually we will have systems that are fully autonomous and we won’t have to worry about any of these features because the vehicle and the computer system inside of it will take care of it for us.

At this point, Tesla reports that every single one of their vehicles is equipped with autonomous emergency braking. And Toyota, Lexus, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz report 90% or more of their vehicles are equipped. Most brands are coming in at 50% or above, with a few still showing up with very few of their vehicles actually covered. In fact, Jaguar Land Rover reports that none of their vehicles have autonomous emergency braking and Mitsubishi, Ford, Lincoln and Porsche report that less than 10% of their vehicles do. But these numbers will continue to increase.

 

Does it Help?

Research has actually been conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that looks at just how well these types of systems actually prevent accidents and what’s been found is that autonomous braking is one of the top two features. Alongside of it are adaptive headlights, which help the driver to see what is directly in front of them when they’re driving and turning. There’s even studies that suggest that up to 27% of accidents in Europe could be avoided by implementing this type of system. Of course, that’s if the vehicle manufacturers step up to autonomous emergency braking and not just the forward collision warning.

Overall, both of these features can definitely make a difference in accidents and they can definitely keep people a whole lot safer overall as well. Anyone who is using one of these features is going to be better protected in case of an emergency in front of them and especially if they find themselves distracted. These features are definitely not going to hurt, especially since they’re designed to make sure the vehicle avoids an accident or takes an accident at a much slower speed. There’s no way to lose with that.

 

Wrapping it Up

If you’re even thinking about a new vehicle you should definitely be looking at one that has forward collision warning and, even better, autonomous emergency braking. Both of these features together are going to help you to be safer and are definitely going to make sure that you’re at a much lower risk for an accident. The biggest risk in any accident and any time that someone gets behind the wheel is always going to be human error and eliminating that human error is going to make a huge difference in just how safe our roadways actually are.

As our vehicle manufacturers continue to implement this system in all vehicles it’s definitely going to become a much better and safer experience for everyone that’s heading out onto the road. Being able to stop quickly, without having to take the time to react, is definitely going to be a big benefit to anyone who drives. According to research it’s actually proven to help, and this means that it’s only going to push vehicle manufacturers to come up with even more and even better technology as time goes on. There’s no telling what kind of things they might come up with next or just how they could make all of us a bit safer.

 

 On-board sensors assist with adaptive cruise control that help you maintain a safe following distance by automatically adjusting your cruising speed

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