Distractions, excess speed or drowsiness are just some of the main causes of accidents at the wheel. According to Esteban Alcántara, an Active Safety engineer at SEAT, “the new driving aid systems are especially useful in these cases.” Coinciding with the World premiere of the SEAT Tarraco large SUV, this expert reveals how its two new safety assistants work - the Pre-crash and the Rollover Assist, and gives insights into future trends of car safety technology:
Understeering, oversteering or sudden braking are some of the situations that activate Pre-crash on the SEAT Tarraco, the new flagship large SUV from SEAT. The car itself automatically detects whether it is about to have an accident and is able to react in 200 milliseconds. Depending on the kind of accident, it tightens the seatbelts, activates the hazard lights, rolls up the windows and closes the sunroof to prevent any extremity getting caught outside the passenger compartment.
“The Active Safety systems play an increasingly important role in protecting both vehicle occupants as well as other road users. In some cases, they can prevent accidents and even minimise their consequences if they happen”, says Esteban. One example of this is the new Rollover Assist featured on the SEAT Tarraco large SUV, which activates if the car overturns. In this case, the car makes an emergency call, switches off the engine, unlocks the doors, turns on the hazard lights and changes the ventilation, among other functions.
The technology and electronics at the heart of driving assistants are “a major revolution” in the development of car models. “Innovations in the field of advanced safety has taken huge strides”, as can be seen in the incorporation of ‘intelligent’ sensors and control modules. Thanks to these, cars are able to identify possible causes of accidents and react to prevent them. The way to notify drivers has also evolved: light signals are now joined by acoustic ones, voice guides, steering wheel vibrations and even course control and automatic braking, all without any human intervention.
According to Esteban Alcántara, “the car of the future is going to be the sum of several assistants. The current role of the driver will give way to being the occupant of a vehicle, so car safety systems must adapt to this situation as well as to the interior of the passenger compartment”. Vehicles are going to be interconnected, which will contribute to the goal of “zero accidents which we are already working on”.