Driver assistance systems were first introduced 10 years ago to help drivers parallel park their cars. Now, that system has evolved into a 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 helping to interpret all the data together.
Much of this progress has happened step by step, and Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R 2022 exemplify this with a new update to the Front Assist feature available to help avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.
Front Assist is part of Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology; available across the Volkswagen 2022 range in Europe and the US , the Front Assist feature works to alert drivers of potential collisions and, in some cases, provide automatic braking assistance.
Previous versions of Front Assist used radar sensors embedded in the front of a vehicle to detect moving objects that could lead to a collision and distinguish between a vehicle and a pedestrian. The latest version of Front Assist, available on Golf Mk8 models, also employs the front camera to help identify and distinguish cyclists and pedestrians from other objects – not only directly in front of the car, but also those travelling alongside it.
“By using sensor fusion that combines camera and radar data, this technology can help detect pedestrians and cyclists that the driver may not see in front of or beside the vehicle,” said Izzuddeen Hack, electronics strategy leader at Volkswagen Group of America. “This can give the driver more warning and our systems more intelligence about what is happening to help avoid a potential accident.”
As the system operates with radar, it can detect people and cyclists ahead of the vehicle in the dark or dusk that the driver may have inadvertently overlooked. If the system detects that a pedestrian or cyclist may be in the vehicle’s path, Front Assist can activate the Forward Collision Warning system and, in some cases, provide Automatic Emergency Braking.