What is break assist in a car

August 01, 2008 at 6:06 pm

New safety system for buses and trucks brakes automatically

Often enough we see the sad facts in the news: Serious bus and truck accidents, the cause of which are fatigue and lack of concentration on the part of the driver. A new technology from Mercedes could help avoid some serious collisions in the future.

Fully automatic to a standstill
"Active Brake Assist" is used in both the trucks with the three-pointed star and in the new Mercedes Travego touring coach. In the event of an acute risk of a rear-end collision, it automatically initiates emergency braking if the driver does not react.

Radar system on board
The new assistance system works with radar sensors that measure the distance and relative speed to the vehicle in front. The sensors detect other vehicles within a range of three degrees that are within a range of seven to 150 meters in front of the bus or truck. If an accident is unavoidable with the traffic situation unchanged, the driver is initially warned visually by a triangle that lights up red and also acoustically. If the risk of a collision is exacerbated, there is also partial braking with a braking power of 30 percent. If the driver does not actively apply the brakes even then, emergency braking is initiated. A side detail: Travego buses that are equipped with Active Brake Assist receive a five percent discount on liability and fully comprehensive insurance with Mercedes-Benz bus insurance.

Automatic emergency braking in the car too?
In view of the new technology, the question inevitably arises as to when it will also be used in the passenger car sector. When we asked, Mercedes confirmed that they were already in the development phase. However, series use is not expected in the near future, as more parameters have to be taken into account in automobiles. While the speed range of a bus or truck is limited, it can theoretically go up to 250 km / h for cars. Another question is how far such a system intervenes in the individual's conscious driving style. An example: You suddenly have to change lanes on the motorway and inadvertently reduce the distance to the vehicle in front. Sudden emergency braking would be a potential hazard, especially for those behind a moving car. The legal question is also open: Who is liable if automatic emergency braking causes a rear-end collision?

First approaches at Lexus and Mercedes
Both Lexus and Mercedes are already using distance control systems with partial braking functions. If the cruise control is in operation here, a set distance is maintained and the car is gradually slowed down to a standstill. In the event of danger, partial braking is initiated to support the driver. In the case of Lexus, it is evident that future driver assistance systems will help to save insurance premiums. When buying a new Lexus LS 460 with the so-called Advanced Pre-Crash System, the in-house insurance company offers a discount of 50 percent on the normal premium.

Picture gallery: Automatically in the irons