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Lane change assistance system: the system that monitors
blind spots diagonally to the rear is the main current
VW, GM, Ford and Volvo increasing its use,
Mazda and Nissan introducing it in the Atenza and the next-generation Fuga respectively

Sep. 7, 2009 No.806

 

The main lane change assistance system is of blind spot monitoring type
Volvo: Using a digital camera as sensor
GM, Chrysler and Jaguar: Using radars as sensor and only illuminating the warning light

Ford: The system illuminates the warning light and displays the message at the same time

M-Benz, BMW and Nissan: Their systems alert the driver in two stages. Nissan's second stage...
Lane change warning system used by VW and Mazda

Executive Summary

  Lane change assistance system helps a driver change lanes safely by detecting a vehicle diagonally to the rear with vehicle-mounted sensors and issuing a warning signal. Its use as an option has steadily become common on luxury vehicles since 2005, particularly in European and the USA markets.

   The system is already used in some of the vehicles of VW, M-Benz, BMW, GM, Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, and Chrysler. Among Japanese automakers, only Mazda has adopted the system in its vehicles but Nissan is expected to follow the lead when it launches the next-generation Fuga.

   The system, called by different names by different automakers, has two types: blind spot monitoring, which monitors a vehicle in the blind spot around the vehicle (a zone of 3.5 meters to the side of the vehicle and 9.5 meters rearward) and lane change warning, which additionally monitors fast-approaching vehicles.
To alert the driver, some of the systems merely illuminate the warning light while others give a stronger warning as a second stage when he tries to change lanes dangerously.

   Lane change assistance system is usually marketed in a package with other driver assistance systems, which is priced high. In its simple form, however, the system is priced at 500-700 dollars as an option in the United States.

 

Lane change assistance system: Its different names and availability


Blind Spot Monitoring

 

System name

Model

Introduction

Volvo

Blind Spot Information System

S60 (face lift), V70/XC70 (face lift)

Middle of 2005

XC90

Apr. 2006

S80

Jun. 2006

C30

Dec. 2006

S40 (face lift), V50 (face lift)

Apr. 2007

C70 (face lift)

Jul. 2007

XC60

Dec. 2008

GM

Side Blind Zone Alert

Cadillac STS (face lift)

Jun. 2007

Cadillac DTS (face lift)

Aug. 2007

Buick Lucerne (face lift)

Summer 2007

GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid

Apr. 2009

GMC Yukon Denali (face lift)

Summer 2009

Chrysler

Blind Spot Monitoring System

Chrysler Town & Country (face lift)

Summer 2008

Dodge Grand Caravan (face lift)

Jaguar

Blind Spot Warning System

XF

Mar. 2008

Ford

Blind Spot Information System

Ford Fusion/Fusion Hybrid(face lift)
Mercury Milan/Milan Hybrid(face lift)

Mar. 2009

Ford Taurus

Jul. 2009

Lincoln MKZ (face lift), MKT

Jul. 2009

M-Benz

Blind Spot Assist

S-Class, CL-Class

Sep. 2007

E-Class

Mar. 2009

VW
Side Scan
Touareg (face lift)
Sep. 2006

Mazda

Blind Spot Monitoring System

CX-9 (face lift)

Oct. 2007

Mazda 6

Oct. 2008

BMW

Active Blind Spot Detection

7-Series

Sep. 2008

Nissan

Side Collision Prevention

New Fuga (Infiniti M)

Nov. 2009

Note: BMW uses Active Blind Spot Detection with the name of Lane Change Warning for the European version.

Lane Change Warning

 

System name

Model

Introduction

VW

Audi Side Assist

Audi Q7

Jan. 2006

Audi A5

Mar. 2007

Audi A8 (face lift)

Autumn 2007

Audi A6 (face lift)

Aug. 2008

Audi Q5

Oct. 2008

Audi A4

Nov. 2008

Side Assist

VW Phaeton (face lift)

Mar. 2007

VW T5 Caravelle/California (facelift)

Jan. 2010

Mazda

Rear Vehicle Monitoring System

Atenza

Jan. 2008

Axela
Jun. 2009
Note: "Introduction" includes future plan as well. The models with facelift in brackets indicate that the system was introduced when they were facelifted. Otherwise, the system was first adopted when models went through a major change or were launched as a completely new vehicle. Ford's Fusion and Milan were facelifted in March 2009 when the hybrid version joined the lineup.

 

The main lane change assistance system is of blind spot monitoring type

  Lane change assistance system consists of two types: blind spot monitoring that monitors vehicles around the vehicle and lane change warning that additionally monitors fast-approaching vehicles behind the vehicle.

   Both types, when they detect a vehicle moving into the monitoring zone, illuminate the warning light in the side-view mirror or door trim on the side of the vehicle in which the approaching vehicle is detected. (The system can be switched off.)

   Most of the lane change assistance systems used in vehicles are of the blind spot monitoring type that monitors with sensors the blind zone of 2.5-3.5 meters to the side of the vehicle and 3-9.5 meters rearward.


Volvo: Using a digital camera as sensor

  Volvo commercialized the blind spot monitoring system in 2005 when it became the first automaker to put it in a mass production vehicle. Unlike other automakers' systems, it is the only one that uses a digital camera as sensor. The camera is capable of detecting another vehicle in the blind spot more accurately, although it is more susceptible to the weather conditions and more expensive.

 

Volvo: Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)

Characteristics

  The system only illuminates the warning light. The sensor is a digital camera, which is highly accurate but susceptible to the bad weather.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot of the vehicle traveling at over 10 km/h, the system alerts the driver by activating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. The sensor covers a zone of 3 meters to the side of the vehicle and 9.5 meters rearward of the side-view mirror.

Sensor

  Digital camera

Sensor position

At the base of both side-view mirrors

Warning light position

  In the door panel (near where the side-view mirror is mounted)

Option price

XC60

  700 dollars

Other models

  695 dollars

Note: The option prices are those available in the United States (the prices in the following pages are all US prices unless otherwise stipulated).

 

GM, Chrysler and Jaguar: Using radars as sensor and only illuminating the warning light

  GM, Chrysler and Jaguar have each adopted the simple version of the blind spot monitoring system, which uses radars as sensor and only illuminates the warning light in the side-view mirror.

 

GM: Side Blind Zone Alert

Characteristics

  The system only illuminates the warning light.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle, the system alerts the driver by activating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. The sensors cover a zone of 3.5 meters to the side of the vehicle and 5 meters rearward of the side-view mirror.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

STS

  Standard equipment (on higher grades)

DTS

  295 dollars (the extra price to be paid when the package that includes lane departure warning is chosen for the highest grade)

Lucerne

  Standard equipment (not available in the base grade)

Yukon Denali/
Denali Hybrid

  500 dollars


Chrysler: Blind Spot Monitoring System

Characteristics

  The system only illuminates the warning light.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle, the system alerts the driver by activating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

Town & Country

  825 dollars (the set price that includes rear cross path system)

Grand Caravan

  580 dollars

Note: Rear cross path system, using the function of the blind spot monitoring system, alerts the driver backing out of his parking space when it detects crossing vehicles in his path of travel.

Jaguar: Blind Spot Warning System

Characteristics

  The system only illuminates the warning light.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle, the system alerts the driver by activating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. It is made by Valeo Raytheon System.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

XF

  1,000 dollars (for the package option that includes front parking aid and rearview parking cameras for some of the grades)

 

Ford: The system illuminates the warning light and displays the message at the same time

  Ford's blind spot monitoring system alerts the driver by illuminating the warning light in the side-view mirror and displaying the message at the same time.

 

Ford: Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)

Characteristics

  The system simultaneously activates the warning light and displays the warning message.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle, the system alerts the driver by activating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected and displaying the message in the instrument panel.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

Fusion

  1,795 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

Fusion Hybrid

  2,250 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

Taurus

  2,000-3,000 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

Milan

  1,510 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

Milan Hybrid

  Standard equipment

MKZ

  2,495 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

MKT

  4,000 dollars (for the package option for some of the grades)

Note: The blind spot information system comes with the cross traffic alert, which alerts the driver backing out of his parking space when it detects crossing vehicles in his path of travel.

 

M-Benz, BMW and Nissan: Their systems alert the driver in two stages. Nissan's second stage comes in gently when the driver drives dangerously

  The blind spot monitoring system of M-Benz, BMW and Nissan alerts the driver in two stages. It first informs the driver of an approaching vehicle in the blind spot by illuminating the warning light and, then, flashes the warning light and (for M-Benz) activates an audible chime or (for BMW) vibrates the steering wheel, when the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane where a collision is possible.

   The side collision prevention system mounted in the next-generation Fuga Nissan will launch in November 2009 activates ESC to generate braking power, giving the driver a sense of being gently pushed back toward his original lane, when he turns the steering wheel to change to the lane where a collision is possible.

 

M-Benz: Blind Spot Assist

Characteristics

  The system alerts the driver by flashing the warning light and sounding an alarm when the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane where a collision is possible.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle traveling at over 30 km/h, the system alerts the driver by illuminating the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane on the side of the warning light, the driver is alerted by the flashing warning light and a chime. The sensors cover a zone of 3.5 meters to the side of the vehicle and 3 meters rearward of the rear bumper.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the front and rear bumpers (6 pieces in all)

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

S-Class

  Standard equipment (S600)

  2,900 dollars (for the S550's package option)

CL-Class

  Standard equipment (SL600)

  2,850 dollars (for the CL550's package option)

E-Class

  2,900 dollars (for the package option)


BMW: Active Blind Spot Detection

Characteristics

  When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane where a collision is possible, the system alerts the driver by flashing the warning light and vibrating the steering wheel.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle traveling at over 30 km/h, the driver is alerted by the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane on the side of the warning light, the driver is alerted by the flashing warning light and vibration in the steering wheel. The system was jointly developed by Hella.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors (in the housing)

Option price

7-Series

  1,360 dollars (for the package option that includes lane departure warning)

 

Nissan: Side Collision Prevention

Characteristics

  When the warning light is on and the driver turns the steering wheel to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, the system alerts him not only by flashing the warning light and alarm but also intervenes lightly in his driving.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle, the driver is alerted by the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the light is on and the driver turns the steering wheel toward the warning light, he is alerted by the flashing warning light and alarm.

  Furthermore, the system activates ESC that provides braking power to each wheel, generating power to prevent the lane change (giving the driver a sense of being gently pushed back). When the driver further turns the steering wheel, he can make the lane change.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the door panels (near where the side-view mirrors are mounted)

Option price

New Fuga

  Not available (the new model to be released in Japan in November 2009)

 

Lane change warning system used by VW and Mazda

  The lane change warning system detects vehicles not only in the blind spot but also the distance of up to about 50 meters behind the vehicle, alerting the driver to a fast-approaching vehicle behind him. VW uses the system in many of Audi brand vehicles and Mazda has put it in the Atenza and the Axela (in North America, the automaker uses the blind spot monitoring).

 

Audi: Audi Side Assist

Characteristics

  The system detects an approaching vehicle in the distance of up to 50 meters behind the vehicle and activates the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the lane where a collision is possible, the system alerts the driver by flashing the warning light.

Function description

  The system, when it detects an approaching vehicle behind the vehicle traveling at over 60 km/h, activates the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. In the slow approach, it activates the warning light when the approaching vehicle is right behind the vehicle. In the fast approach, it activates the warning light at a much earlier stage. When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, the system alerts the driver by flashing the warning light. It was jointly developed by Hella.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors (in the housing)

Option price

Q7

  Standard equipment (only on the higher grades)

Q5

  500 dollars (available only on the higher grades)

A8

  3,600 dollars (for the package option on the higher grades)

A6

  500 dollars (available only on higher grades)

A5

  2,500 dollars (for the package option on the higher grades)

A4

  900 dollars (for the package option on the higher grades)

VW: Side Assist

Characteristics

  The system detects an approaching vehicle in the distance of up to 50 meters behind the vehicle and only illuminates the warning light.

Function description

  The system detects an approaching vehicle behind the vehicle traveling at over 60 km/h and activates the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors (in the housing)

Option price

Phaeton

  400 pounds in the UK market


Mazda: Rear Vehicle Monitoring System (excluding the North American market)

Characteristics

  The system detects an approaching vehicle in the distance of up to 50 meters behind the vehicle and activates the warning light. When the light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, he is alerted by the flashing light and alarm.

Function description

  When the system detects an approaching vehicle behind the vehicle traveling at over 60km/h, it illuminates the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, he is alerted by the flashing light and audible chime. This second stage does not come into play where the approaching vehicle stops approaching or the driver slows down to less than 60 km/h.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the door panels (where the side-view mirrors are mounted)

Option price

Atenza

  220,500 Yen in the Japanese market (for the package option for the 25S/25Z/25EX grades, that includes pre-crash safety system and radar cruise control system)


Blind Spot Monitoring System (the North American market)

Characteristics

  When the warning light is on and the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, he is alerted by the flashing light and alarm.

Function description

  When another vehicle moves into the blind spot on either side of the vehicle traveling at over 20 km/h, the system activates the warning light on the side of the vehicle where the approaching vehicle is detected. When the driver switches on the turn signal indicator to change to the approaching vehicle's lane, with the warning light on, he is alerted by the flashing light and alarm.

Sensor

  24GHz radars

Sensor position

  On the corners of the rear bumper

Warning light position

  In the side-view mirrors

Option price

CX-9

  2,300 dollars (for the package option for higher grades, that includes DVD navigation system and others)

Mazda 6

  Standard equipment (only on higher grades of North American specification)

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