If you haven’t driven a new vehicle in the past few years, you may be amazed at how far advanced driver assistance technology has come.1 The gee-whiz system that could help you parallel park your car 10 years ago has now evolved to a full suite of available driver assistance features that use cameras and radar designed to work with adaptive cruise control and read road markings, with advanced software stitching all the data together.
A lot of that progress has happened one step at a time, and the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R exemplify that with a new upgrade to the available Front Assist feature to help avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.
Front Assist is part of the Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology; available across the 2022 Volkswagen lineup, the Front Assist feature works to warn drivers of potential collisions, and in some cases, provide automatic braking assistance.
Prior versions of Front Assist used radar sensors built into the front of a vehicle to detect moving objects that could lead to a collision and could distinguish between a vehicle and a pedestrian. The newest version of Front Assist, available on Mk8 Golf models, also employs the forward-facing camera to help identify and distinguish cyclists and pedestrians from other objects – not just directly in front of the car, but those traveling alongside it as well.
“By using sensor fusion that combines the data from the camera and the radar, this technology can help detect pedestrians and cyclists who the driver may not see in front or alongside the vehicle ,” said Izzuddeen Hack, Electronic Strategy Lead for Volkswagen Group of America. “That can give the driver more warning and our systems more intelligence about what’s happening to help avoid a potential crash”
As the system operates with radar, it can detect people and cyclists ahead of the vehicle in darkness or dusk that the driver might have inadvertently overlooked. If the system senses a pedestrian or cyclist could be in the vehicle’s path, Front Assist can activate the Forward Collison Warning system and in some cases provide Automatic Emergency Braking.
Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning can alert the driver of a potential critical front-end collision situation, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster if the car is traveling above 18 mph. It can also issue an automatic jolt of the brakes to help warn the driver of the danger. If the driver fails to brake, Automatic Emergency Braking can activate to help slow the vehicle. If the car is traveling below 18 mph and the system detects a potential front-end collision, Automatic Emergency Braking activates without a prior acoustic and visual warning. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, Braking Support automatically increases brake pressure.