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Crash test verifies: driver assistants can mitigate crash forces

June 02, 2010 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222900869
Anticipatory driver assistance systems can mitigate the severity of an accident. This appears like plain logic. However, it hitherto was difficult to verify it since standard crash test methods did not allow taking the effect of these systems into account. BMW now developed such a crash test along with engineering services provider Dekra. The result: Driver assistant systems indeed help reducing the crash speed and thus improving occupancy safety.
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The expected popularity of anticipatory assistance systems demands that future testing procedures will have to make allowances for the effect of preventive protection system, BMW argues. In what the car vendor calls a world premiere, a vehicle equipped with a functional radar-based anticipatory drives assistance system successfully passed a crash test involving brake intervention.

The anticipatory assistance system involved was combined with Active Cruise Control, activating an alarm scenario in two stages.

In the event of a potential collision with the vehicle in front, the driver is first given a preliminary warning by means of an illuminated red vehicle symbol on the instrument panel and on the Head-up Display. At the same time, the braking system is prefilled and the minimum triggering level of the hydraulic brake assistant lowered. This ensures that in an emergency brake pressure is built up faster when the driver applies the brakes, therefore significantly reducing the stopping distance.  

If the danger of collision is acutely imminent, the second stage of the collision warning commences. In situations demanding particularly rapid intervention by the driver, the system activates an acoustic signal in addition to the visual warning. Should the driver still not react to the request to apply the brakes, a time-limited delay procedure is activated: The car brakes for 1.2 seconds with reduced deceleration, whereby speed is already reduced before the driver can apply the pre-tensioned brakes. 

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