Vehicle Collision Intervention Technology

How Vehicle Collision Intervention Technology Works

The continuous development of new safety technologies for vehicles has led to the creation of various systems which are capable of detecting and reacting to an impending collision with much greater speed than a human driver would be capable of. The official term for such an innovation is a pre-collision system (PCS), although this is a relatively general term which encompasses many different technologies available for a variety of different makes and models of cars.

Types of Pre-Collision Systems

Even though there are various innovations which are considered to be PCS, they are grouped into two major categories: active safety systems and passive safety systems. Active safety systems are always working, using sensors, radars and cameras in order to detect the various obstacles surrounding a vehicle. When these detect the possibility of a collision, they will automatically begin taking the necessary precautions. What these precautions are will vary based on the system – some will simply gather the information available and alert the driver of an impending danger while others will be even more proactive and start various maneuvers such as braking while steering.

Alternatively, passive safety systems are far more commonplace and have been so for a longer period of time. These will remain inactive for the most part, only activating when it is necessary. Most PCS are actually active safety systems with passive systems referring to seat belts that lock into position in a sudden stop or airbags that deploy after a collision.

How Pre-Collision Systems Work

These systems rely on various technologies in order to work properly. Most commonly used are radar detectors which are placed in the front of the vehicle, typically inside the grill. By constantly bouncing radio waves off of whatever is in front of them, the radars are capable of determining the distance to various obstacles and whether a collision is impending or not.

A perfect example of this is the forward collision warning which has been revealed through various studies to be the most effective of all PCS. This system detects the presence of vehicles in front of the driver's car and also determines their speed, distance and relative velocity in only a few fractions of a second. If, for any reason, there is a sudden change in these numbers, the system will begin to act. While it will also notify the driver, the forward collision warning system will also begin automatic braking in order to ensure that there is enough reaction time to avoid a collision.