As consumers flocked to the Los Angeles Auto Show to gaze and get up close and personal with the bevy of all-new, redesigned and concept cars on display, the Auto Alliance made a little news of its own, announcing the debut of a “Driver Assists” channel on YouTube.
Driver Assists - foward collision mitigationEnlarge Photo
What in the world is “Driver Assists?” In essence, the term refers to a group of new automotive technologies designed to help drivers prevent and avoid crashes for short periods of time. These are not the self-driving car technologies – not yet, although many will make their way into autonomous and semi-autonomous cars in the future. In a poll of 5,000 consumers the Auto Alliance found that six out of ten (66 percent) said they are interested in getting one of these technologies on their next purchased vehicle.
For now, the intent is to showcase the technology at the Los Angeles Auto Show and on the Driver Assists YouTube channel so that consumers can see it in action and become more familiar with how it works.
Driver Assists - telematicsEnlarge Photo
Three types of driver assists
Boiling it down to the simplest terms, there are three types of driver assists.
- Warning and alert systems – These display a visual warning and/or sound an alarm or even vibrate the seat to alert the driver to take some action. Examples include lane departure and blind spot warnings. Forty-four percent of consumers polled favored alerts.
- Active controls – These manage vehicle systems, such as electronic stability control, for brief periods of time, providing immediate protective action faster than a human could react. Almost 34 percent of consumers surveyed said they favored active systems that can steer, slow down, or brake the car automatically in emergencies.
- Controls and vision aids – These include cameras, night vision and in-vehicle telematics systems, all designed to enable the driver to drive safer in different kinds of situations.
More survey results
In additional polling, the Auto Alliance learned the various driving challenges concerning consumers that driver assists may help:
- Erratic drivers – 66 percent said their biggest concern on the road involves erratic drivers.
- Cut-off drivers – 58 percent said another drive cut in front of them in the past month, causing them to have to stomp on the brakes.
- Most challenging driving situations – Here, consumers listed cars cutting in front (35 percent), stop-and-go traffic (24 percent), crowded highways (22 percent), and pedestrians/motorcycles/bikes (12 percent).
- Most challenging parking situations – Not surprisingly, consumers identified parallel parking (35 percent), backing in/backing out of parking spots (19 percent), pedestrians in parking lots (16 percent), and too close proximity to parking walls or other structures (12 percent).
While automakers will continue to offer new and exciting technologies to help make driving safer and more convenient now and in the future, “the driver’s role in vehicle safety is still a fundamental part of the equation.”
Check out the Driver Assists video by clicking on this link.
And, don’t miss our extensive coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show here.