2014 GMC Sierra brings active safety to pickups
The all-new truck will have lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert, along with tactile seat-cushion alerts.
Active safety systems are already migrating to entry-level cars like the Ford Fiesta (at least in Europe). And when the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra pickup arrives in showrooms this summer, it will be the first full-size truck with active safety features, specifically lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert.
The Sierra will also be the first truck -- and GMC will be the third General Motors brand behind Buick and Cadillac -- to get the optional Safety Alert Seat that gives drivers a warning where they sit.
The lane-departure warning system uses a camera to detect when the truck leaves its lane and a turn signal isn’t activated in that direction. Forward-collision alert also uses a camera to monitor vehicles ahead and determine the risk of a collision.
An icon of a vehicle crossing a dotted lane marker glows amber and flashes when the lane-departure warning system detects that a Sierra driver is inadvertently drifting out of his lane. Forward-collision alert uses a vehicle-shaped icon in the instrument cluster that glows green when it detects a vehicle within range. The icon turns orange if the Sierra gets too close to a vehicle ahead, and red lights flash on the windshield and the driver receives an audible alert if the truck is bearing down on a vehicle too rapidly.
These are all industry-standard designs. The real novelty is what comes next if the driver doesn't heed these warnings.
According to GM, with the lane-departure warning system, “a vibration in the left or right seat bolster directs the driver’s attention to the side of the lane encroachment.” If the forward-collision alert system senses a potential impending collision, both sides of the seat vibrate.
“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” said GM safety expert Raymond Kiefer in a statement. With “alarm” fatigue” becoming an issue, Kiefer feels that transmitting an alarm to the body -- and in this case, a more sensitive part of the body than the shoulder -- makes a big difference in alerting a driver to danger.
“Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction provides an effective and intuitive way to cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience,” he said.
While some automotive purists complain about such “nanny” technology, research has shown (.pdf) that systems like lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert help save lives. And anyone who has ever been next to a truck pulling a trailer knows that the pilot of a pickup -- or any driver -- can always use an extra set of eyes.
And if drivers grow tired of the audible, visual and tactile warnings of the Sierra’s safety systems, which are available as options on select trim levels, they can always turn them off.
[Source: General Motors]
All these sensors have been proven to save a few lives but how many have they caused by people losing their general use of senses? It has been proven when you no longer have to do something like looking in your mirrors you stop using them altogether.
Take these sensors for instance. Forward collision allert has people where they no longer have to pay as close attention to the vehicle ahead of them as they drive. SO if that vehicle has to slam on their brakes the sensor wont alert the driver fast enough and odds are they arent paying as close attention as someone without it. So now they drive THROUGH the back end of the other vehicle. Thats safe.
Leave it to GM to come up with this crap. As if vehicles don't have enough bell, whistles and other crap to annoy and aggrevate drivers now they want to make your seat vibrate?
Who's going to want this in a pick up? Not me thats for sure.
But wait!........With the new cafe standards imposed by the government any steel used in vehicles will be paper thin to cut down on weight. This will make even the pick ups in coming years less safe in a collision.
Maybe GM is trying to get ahead of the curve. (pun intended)
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.