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Breezing Through Urban Driving

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Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been around for some time to help drivers on the roads. They help drivers feel more assured, and car manufacturers are quick to come up with new systems to stand out from the competition.

The drive to an autonomous future is revving up Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) development. Cars are now getting even smarter, and driving is no longer entirely in the hands of the driver. Some are even making decisions for drivers in the name of safety. That is something that sits well with the tech-savvy generation of drivers, especially those finding the busy and compact world of urban driving a real challenge.

Hyundai, an active proponent of autonomous technology, has recently announced the development of what they believe is the world’s first urban ADAS. Called the Mobis Parking System (MPS), it incorporates the Narrow Space Assistance (NSA), which offers guidance and assistance to the driver in confined spaces, such as a narrow street, by avoiding obstructions. This will come in handy for drivers nervous about negotiating tight spots and parking spaces.

The sensor technology used here differs from those employed by typical ADAS that are used during high-speed driving to recognise objects or obstacles located further away; these ultrasonic sensors locate objects nearby instead. The NSA system apparently only needs a clearance of 40cm on each side of the car to help it navigate safely — quite a feat indeed. For drivers who constantly scratch the sides of their cars when negotiating narrow areas, this is something they will surely appreciate!

Another technology of note is the Reverse Assistance (RA). Also part of the MPS, it has the ability to not only record the car’s travel route to the destination in real time, but also create the route in reverse at the push of a button. What this means is that, with the RA activated, the car will automatically drive itself back using the same route. The system will regulate the car’s steering wheel and speed to drive back safely.

For drivers unsure about their parking ability, the MPS Remote Smart Parking Assistance (RSPA) has got them covered. Even if the available parking space is at a right angle to the car or in a challenging parallel spot, the RSPA reportedly has the ability to park the car remotely when the driver is out of the car. All the driver has to do is locate the spot and activate the system before getting out of the car — the RSPA does the rest.

Volkswagen has also improved on their Front Assist system, intended to help drivers avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. This new version has the capability to “see” cyclists and pedestrians both in the front as well as on the sides of the car. This will be of great help to drivers oblivious to these more vulnerable road users. The system also warns the driver of someone who may be in the path of the car even in darkness. If warranted, the system will give the brakes a jolt as an additional warning to the driver.

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