Computer-controlled collision avoidance systems aren't brand-new, but they're still not entirely beyond the testing stage, either, as Volvo's infamous demonstration proved just a few months ago. But Nissan's announcement today of its Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept stands to push the technology beyond the luxury segment and into everyday cars, and maybe soon.
The system works like just about every other one shown to date: radar detects a slower/stopped vehicle or obstacle in front of the driver, measures distance and compares that with driver reaction, and if it thinks a collision is imminent, begins applying the brakes. When it determines the driver still isn't reacting properly, the system ramps up brake effort to full emergency braking during the final approach to ensure the collision doesn't happen. Nissan says the system can completely avoid rear-end accidents at speeds up to 36 mph.
Along with the application of brakes, the system sounds an audible warning and flashes a visual indicator on the dash. It also tightens the driver's seat belt to help secure them in the seat and mitigate any injury in the event the system can't stop the car in time to avoid the accident.
Nissan hasn't given a timeline for when the technology might move from concept to production stage, but it's already pitching it as part of its Safety Shield family of technologies to help assist drivers in "high risk situations."
The Moving Object Detection (MOD) system, on the other hand, works with the aid of cameras, specifically, Nissan's Around View Monitor, which shows the surroundings of the car from a top-down view. When the computer detects moving objects in the vicinity of the vehicle, it flashes a notification on the display screen and sounds a buzzer to warn of the hazard.
Intended to help supplement the driver's own vision in parking or low side-visibility intersections, the system will can help reduce both pedestrian and traffic collisions by alerting the driver to things that might not have been visible when they looked over their shoulder just moments before.
Because the MOD is an update to the Around View Monitor system, we can expect to see the new tech arrive in production cars sooner rather than later, though again Nissan hasn't given a time line or product plan as yet.