The latest in driver assistance systems

Martorell, 14 November 2016

Following the launch of the Ateca with such an incredible range of driving assistance systems, it’s now the Leon’s turn to take onboard the latest technological developments:

- Traffic Jam Assist: This assistance function makes progress in heavy stop-and-go traffic far more bearable. At full-blown “traffic jam speeds”, the new Leon steers, accelerates and brakes automatically within the system boundaries. At higher speeds of up to around 60 km/h, the system provides support with speed control and lane keeping. However, the driver’s hands have to stay on the wheel.

And this is how the system works:

The systems that form the basis of Traffic Jam Assist are Lane Assist and the ACC adaptive cruise control. Traffic Jam Assist also offers the function of adaptive lane keeping at speeds of less than 60 km/h. The system not only countersteers to correct when the New Leon leaves its lane, Lane Assist also keeps the SUV in the centre of the lane or alternatively “learns” the driver’s preferred position. The ACC adaptive cruise control is likewise incorporated into Traffic Jam Assist, meaning that braking and accelerating is handled automatically when ACC is active in stop-and-go traffic. ACC and Lane Assist merge to become Traffic Jam Assist, which enables assisted guidance both laterally and longitudinally. The car thus steers, accelerates and brakes automatically – albeit only as long as the driver has his/her hands on the steering wheel and is ready and able to intervene at all times.

- ACC with Front Assist: The radar-controlled ACC adaptive cruise control system automatically regulates the distance to the vehicle in front within the system boundaries. On long motorway journeys in particular, it plays a major role in relieving driver stress and aiding relaxation. Within a certain speed range, the integrated Front Assist can provide autonomous braking in dangerous situations.

One part of the Front Assistance system is the City Emergency Brake function with Pedestrian Protection. While Front Assist operates at higher speeds to warn against driving too close to the vehicle in front and potential collisions, automatically braking the vehicle if required, the City Emergency Brake system handles this task in urban traffic. Previously, the City Emergency Brake system only recognized vehicles. In the new Leon, the system has been developed further to also react to pedestrians.

And this is how the system works:

- Safety on the motorway: Front Assist uses a radar sensor integrated into the front of the car to constantly monitor the distance to the traffic in front. The system helps the driver in critical situations by priming the brakes and by advising the need for reaction through visual and acoustic warnings and, in a second step, through a brief jolt. If the driver brakes too gently, Front Assist generates the braking pressure that would be necessary to avoid a collision. If the driver doesn’t react at all, Front Assist applies the brakes automatically.

- Safety in the city: The City Emergency Brake function with Pedestrian Protection is a system expansion of Front Assist and monitors the area in front of the new Leon up to a speed of 65 km/h. In the event of an emergency, the system brakes the vehicle instantaneously and automatically. The further developed combination of Front Assist and the City Emergency Brake function with Pedestrian Recognition also now networks the radar with the New Leon’s front camera for the first time to identify pedestrians at the side of the road and on the road, too. If the City Emergency Brake function with Pedestrian Recognition identifies a risk that the New Leon might collide with a pedestrian, it issues a visual and acoustic warning to the driver. If the driver does not react to this warning, the system automatically initiates emergency braking.

- Traffic Sign Recognition: Never miss another speed limit or traffic restriction thanks to the on-board camera and display. Traffic signs are reliably recognized and displayed in the cockpit and on the navigation screen.

- Emergency Assist: This is a new function initiated in situations such as a medical emergency: If the driver remains inactive beyond a certain period, the vehicle issues first a visual then an acoustic warning, followed finally by a brief pulse of the brakes. If there is still no reaction, the new Leon slows down to a standstill, while staying in lane and activating the hazard lights and the electronic parking brake.

- High Beam Assist: This assistance system guarantees optimum illumination of the road ahead – particularly in combination with the powerful LED headlamps – without dazzling or disturbing oncoming traffic. The camera in the housing of the rear-view mirror identifies traffic travelling closely in front or oncoming and dims the headlamps accordingly.