'Virtual bumpers' can help avoid crashes

Sep 19, 2012
Radars, vision, and ultrasonic sensors in Cadillac vehicles constantly analyze road data to determine if a crash may be imminent. In such cases the vehicle's automatic front and rear braking will engage. Credit: John F. Martin for Cadillac

Three new Cadillac models, including the ATS sport sedan, have a new advanced safety system that can automatically stop the vehicle in low-speed conditions to help avoid crashes. 

Cadillac's Front and Rear Automatic Braking acts like a "virtual bumper," slamming on the brakes as a last resort to help drivers in or even in and driveways where the driver might fail to see another or object in his path.

Automatic Front and Rear Braking is part of the new optional Driver Assist Package on the 2013 ATS sport sedan, XTS luxury sedan and SRX crossover. Relying on a network of sophisticated sensors and , the system can help avoid crashes in low-speed conditions and reduce impact speed under higher speed circumstances.

If the driver fails to respond to alerts, such as the Safety Seat Alert, vibrations or rear vision camera notifications, and a crash is imminent, the automatic braking is designed to apply the brakes and stop the vehicle. Credit: John F. Martin for Cadillac

"Radars, vision, and ultrasonic sensors in the vehicle are constantly analyzing data and working together to determine if a crash may be imminent," said Charles Green, the specialist responsible for the development of the Driver Assist Package technologies. "Based on these calculations, the vehicle can automatically brake to avoid a crash or reduce impact speed, and if necessary, can apply the vehicle's maximum braking capability."

If the driver fails to respond to other alerts, such as the Safety Alert Seat vibrations, and a potential collision is imminent, the automatic braking is designed to apply the brakes and stop the vehicle.  The driver may override any automatic braking action taken by the vehicle. If the system brings the car to a stop, the electronic parking brake will hold the car in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.

In developing the technology, engineers had to finesse the system to avoid unwanted activations, ensuring that it is only a last resort.

"We have spent eight years researching driver behavior which has been incorporated into the design of automatic braking in the ATS, XTS, and SRX," said Green. "Our goal is to effectively provide an extra level of safety support while keeping the driver in complete control of the vehicle at all times."

The Driver Assist Package will be available on Performance and Premium trim levels of ATS, XTS, and SRX. The package also includes side blind zone alert and full-speed range adaptive cruise control. ATS and XTS models will also feature a full-color, reconfigurable head-up display that helps keep the driver's eyes on the road.

Explore further: Greater safety and security at Europe's train stations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cadillac testing 'Super Cruise' feature for future cars

Apr 23, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Cadillac is reportedly joining the crowd working on features that it says should reduce car accidents by allowing the car to drive itself under optimal conditions, relieving the driver from fatigue, ...

New car tech: Not just crash protection, but prevention

Jan 28, 2009

A car that can brake itself to avoid a fender-bender during the morning commute might seem far into the future. Except it goes on sale in March. That's when City Safety, a low-speed collision-avoidance technology becomes ...

Recommended for you

Greater safety and security at Europe's train stations

Sep 01, 2014

When a suspicious individual fleas on a bus or by train, then things usually get tough for the police. This is because the security systems of the various transportation companies and security services are ...

Fingerprints for freight items

Sep 01, 2014

Security is a top priority in air freight logistics but screening procedures can be very time consuming and costly. Fraunhofer researchers intend to boost efficiency with a new approach to digital logistics, ...

On the way to a safe and secure smart home

Sep 01, 2014

A growing number of household operations can be managed via the Internet. Today's "Smart Home" promises efficient building management. But often the systems are not secure and can only be retrofitted at great ...

DIY glove-based tutor indicates muscle-memory potential

Aug 31, 2014

A senior editor at IEEE Spectrum worked on a DIY project that enabled his 11-year-old son to improve his touch typing by use of a vibrating glove. His son was already "pretty quick on the keyboard," said ...

User comments : 0