Families opting for safety technologies that can help prevent front collisions and lane departure warnings often have to pay thousands of dollars for them, either as two separate systems or part of an expensive option package. Now, with the 2012 GMC Terrain compact crossover, for just $295 they can get two systems in one as General Motors launches the first single-camera collision alert system.
As reported in TheCarConnection, this single system is far less expensive, more economical and simpler than the high-cost radar-based collision detection systems.
The added benefit to drivers is that it helps avoid both front-end and unsignalled lane departure crashes.
How the system works
The active safety system in the 2012 GMC Terrain uses a single high-resolution digital camera mounted on the windshield ahead of the rearview mirror. The camera looks ahead, capturing vehicle shapes and lane markings at about 14 frames per second, while the system’s software uses an image processing algorithm to analyze each frame and determine position changes in the objects in view.
The system uses a number of high-mounted visual displays and audible warnings to alert the driver when a collision is imminent, when they’re following another vehicle too closely, or drifting out of a lane without signaling.
Speed, directional change, and how the brake and accelerator pedal are applied are also used by the system to determine when to alert the driver.
Specifically, the Terrain has green, red and amber icons: green for “vehicle ahead” and “lanes detected, red for “forward collision alert” and amber for “lane departure warning.” The icons are accompanied by warning chimes or beeps to audibly alert the driver.
Forward collision alert operates at speeds above 25 mph to warn the driver they’re either following too closely or at imminent danger of a front end crash. If the system predicts a collision is imminent, the Terrain’s brakes are pre-charged to quickly provide maximum braking power to the driver.
The image processor also checks for lane markings. At speeds above 35 mpg, the icon flashes green, indicating the system is active and detects lane markings. Should the driver change lanes without signaling, the driver is alerted by the lane departure warning icon that changes from green to flashing amber, along with accompanying warning beeps.
The dual-benefit crash avoidance system works day and night, with the only downside being that the camera can be affected by snow and mud.
For more on how the system works, check out the video below.