Small helpers with big effects – part 3

Small helpers with big effects – part 3

Rear Traffic Alert, Volkswagen

Exiting parking spaces in reverse is a common everyday situation in road traffic. When reversing from perpendicular parking spaces, the driver often has a poor view. Another electronic helper from Volkswagen helps here: Rear Traffic Alert. There are radar sensors at the rear of the vehicle. They monitor the zone behind and on the sides of the vehicle to supplement the ultrasonic parking sensors. Rear Traffic Alert recognises what the driver cannot see from their seat. If the system detects another vehicle approaching in cross traffic behind the car, it warns the driver preventively of the hazardous situation. If the driver does not react, the system can automatically initiate a brake intervention. This avoids collision damages or at least reduce them.

Rear Traffic Alert is offered in combination with the Blind Spot Monitor

It not only assists the driver in parking but even more while driving on the road. Early on, in driving school, the glance over the shoulder is learned as a way to detect a vehicle approaching in the blind spot when changing lanes. Assisting in such situations, in which it may be difficult to get a good view, is the Blind Spot Monitor. Radar sensors at the rear of the car monitor the zone behind and adjacent to the Volkswagen. They are able to detect vehicles within a range of 20 metres within system limits. The Blind Spot Monitor is already active from a speed of 15 km/h, and it can inform the driver of another vehicle or object in the warning zone via an indicator LED in the exterior mirror.

The system alerts the driver of the potential hazard by activating a constant light in the relevant exterior mirror. If the driver activates the turn indicator despite the warning, the LED on that side begins to flash at a higher light intensity to call the driver’s attention to the critical situation.

In conjunction with the optional Lane Assist, the system also reacts with a gentle countersteering pulse and vibration of the steering wheel to further boost the driver’s awareness. It may countersteer continuously and gently, depending on the specific vehicle. Drivers can “override” Lane Assist at any time by applying just a little force to the steering wheel. And they are not relieved of their responsibility for intentional control of the vehicle.

At a glance – the development of assistance systems for parking

1997 – First park distance control system with four ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper

2005 – Park distance control, front and rear

2006 – World’s first parking assistant (Park Assist)

2008 – First use of Rear View (Golf Mk 6; camera behind the hinged Volkswagen logo)

2010 – First use of ‘Area View’ area monitoring system; Optical Parking System (OPS); Park Assist 2.0

2012 – 360-degree OPS

2012 – Park Assist 2.0 with perpendicular parking

2014 – Rear Traffic Alert; Blind Spot Monitor; Area View, 2nd generation

2015 – Park Assist 3.0