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Cadillac Active Safety System Serves as ‘Virtual Bumper’

Automatic Front and Rear Braking steps in to stop the car and avoid low-speed collisions.

By Douglas Newcomb Sep 19, 2012 10:28AM

Cadillac Automatic Front and Rear Braking. Photo by General Motors.Responding to rising consumer awareness and desire for more active safety technology -- and less costly accidents as a result -- Cadillac has announced a new driver assist system that the luxury brand says acts as a “virtual bumper.” Automatic Front and Rear Braking steps in as a last resort and virtually steps on the brake pedal when drivers fail to see another vehicle or object in their path, and it stops the car to avoid low-speed collisions.

 

The feature is part of the optional Driver Assist Package that will be available for the 2013 Cadillac ATS and XTS sedans and the SRX crossover. The driver is first warned with audible and visual alerts, including one in the instrument panel that shows the relative proximity toan  object behind or in front of the car. And they also get tactile warnings via Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat that gives a buzz to the driver’s butt.

 

If the driver ignores the alerts and a crash is imminent, the Automatic Front and Rear Braking system applies the brakes to keep the car from colliding with a detected object. Like other cutting-edge driver-assist systems, the new Cadillac feature uses sophisticated cameras, sensors and processors -- a collection of advanced technologies that work together -- to keep the car from crashing.

 

And it’s further proof that automakers and their customers feel that tech is often better than human drivers at quickly sensing threats and taking action.

 

Such driver assists systems are becoming more widespread and more popular with a broader range of car buyers. According to a recent survey commissioned by Ford, nine in 10 consumers are interested in driver assist technologies, and almost six in 10 blamed blind spots for accidents or near collisions.


 

While driving enthusiasts decry the creep of technology that takes control of a car, apparently the average daily commuter doesn’t mind technology providing assistance when they don’t see another vehicle. Or another driver doesn’t see them.


Click here to see Cadillac's Automatic Front and Rear Braking system in action.



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