By Tom Torbjornsen
Tom Torbjornsen, Western New York’s automotive expert from Towne Automotive Group here, hoping you are having a great holiday season! And now for my weekly automotive tip.
As I watch the auto industry develop and evolve, I see the area of safety devices growing exponentially. A new class of devices called “Driver Assists” is a growing trend in terms of what consumers want in their next auto. As a matter of fact, six out of 10 consumers want driver assists in their next auto. What are these devices/systems? Let’s take a look at some of the systems available.
Concierge/Telematics: Access your iPod, look for best gas prices, find destinations and locations virtually all with your voice! This system interfaces with your phone, iPod, tablet or whatever device you want it to interface with. Live operators are always available 24/7 to assist with whatever you need, and it’s all voice activated. Each carmaker has a system unique to their vehicle platforms.
Adaptive Cruise Control: This system sends out a radar signal in front of the vehicle and measures how closely your vehicle is following the one in front of you. You set the following distance and the vehicle maintains that distance either by applying the brakes or depowering the engine. If the vehicle in front of you stops, the brakes will stop your vehicle safely while maintaining safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. If you set your cruise to 60 MPH and the vehicle in front of you slows to 50 MPH, your vehicle will maintain a safe distance and slow if necessary. If you move to another lane and the way is clear of vehicles, your vehicle will accelerate up to 60 MPH.
Forward Collision Warning: This system uses cameras to measure your following distance. When you are getting too close to the vehicle in front of you, a visual and audible warning will sound and display. In some systems, the braking system will pre-apply increasing stopping power.
Forward Collision Mitigation: This system goes one step further than forward collision warning in that it also pre-charges the brake system (some even stop the car automatically if the driver doesn’t hit the brake pedal). Some systems pre-tension the seat belts to keep you secure. Most systems use both a video camera and radar system to measure vehicle following distance.
Blind Spot Warning: This system uses cameras and radar to determine if there’s a vehicle in a blind spot on either side of the vehicle. If there is a vehicle in a blind spot, a warning light will flash or illuminate in the mirror the vehicle in the blind spot is on. On some advanced systems, the braking system will take action to avoid the imminent collision.
Lane Departure System: This system uses a camera to monitor vehicle tracking as compared with lane stripes. When it “sees” a vehicle moving erratically, it will either sound an alarm or vibrate the steering wheel. Some systems vibrate seats.
Backup Camera: Backup cams utilize a camera mounted in the rear of the vehicle to give the driver a shot of the rear of the vehicle and its surroundings. It measures when the vehicle is getting close to a fixed object and sounds an alarm along with the area of the car getting close in the camera view showing red. These are great systems that can avert hitting a child, pet or solid object when backing up.
Side View Camera: These cameras are located in the front quarter panel and give the driver a front side view of the vehicle. This is very helpful in maneuvering in traffic and close quarters.
Night Vision: This system picks up heat signatures of items in front of your vehicle. This enables you to start slowing long before whatever it is comes into sight. I have used both OEM and aftermarket systems and they are very helpful, allowing safe vehicle passage in the dark.
Adaptive Headlights: In this system, the head lamps are mounted on swivels that are motorized. Inputs from steering wheel angle and body position control the direction of the head lamps, always making sure the roadway is lighted to the max.
Drowsy Driver Alert: This system monitors vehicle tracking and if it senses the vehicle wandering across the roadway as when happens when the driver is nodding asleep, it sounds a chime and flashes a light on the dash to warn the driver. Systems vary in how they monitor driver behavior.
A great resource to see what safety systems are available is the You Tube Channel “Driver Assists;” the web address is: www.youtube.com/driverassists. Other systems I did not discuss that are covered at this website are:
• Active Blind Spot Monitoring
• Pedestrian Detection/Safety
• Backup Collision Prevention
• Active Park Assist
• Hill Assists
• Auto Start/Stop
• Coasting Control
You can find in-depth explanations and video on any of the systems I mention here in this article at the You Tube Channel for Driver Assists.
It’s the beginning of a new year and dealers are dealin’! How about a new or pre-owned Hyundai? Dealers are looking to start the year on a positive note with lots of steel rollin’ over the curb! I know that for Hyundai, we have all kinds of incentives to take advantage of, so I ask all of my friends to look me up at Towne Hyundai/Autochoice on the corner of Southwestern Boulevard and Milestrip Road in Orchard Park.
If you’re looking for a pre-owned vehicle, at Towne Automotive Group we scour every pre-owned vehicle with our 115-point inspection before it goes on the lot for sale. We’ve been doing this a long time with a stellar track record of happy customers, so you can rest assured that you’re buying a solid, safe vehicle for you and your family. When you come in, just ask for Tom T. You can also email me at TomT@TowneAuto.Com or give me a call at 662-7400, ext. 534. I’ll help you find the exact vehicle you are looking for.
Having been in the car business going on 30 years now, there’s not much I haven’t seen, so email, give me a call or stop by to take advantage of my expertise and the great Hyundai incentives for the New Year! I’ll put you into the right vehicle for you, your family and your budget.
Till next time … keep rollin’!