Volkswagen’s 2022 Golf vehicles now offer a new upgrade to the available Front Assist feature to help drivers avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.
Some 6,205 pedestrians and 846 bicyclists lost their lives in traffic collisions in the U.S. in 2019 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Volkswagen’s latest technology is helping to combat the increasing problem of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. Front Assist is part of the Volkswagen IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology. Available across the 2022 Volkswagen lineup, the Front Assist feature works to warn drivers of potential collisions, and in some cases, provide automatic braking assistance.
The new version of Front Assist is more comprehensive, with the ability to sense objects from more directions. Prior versions used radar sensors built into the front of a vehicle to detect moving objects that could lead to a collision and could distinguish between a vehicle and a pedestrian.
However, the newest version of Front Assist, available on Golf models, also employs the forward-facing camera to help identify and distinguish cyclists and pedestrians from other objects — not just directly in front of the car, but those traveling alongside it as well.
In other words, by using sensor fusion that combines the data from the camera and the radar, the technology can help detect pedestrians and cyclists who the driver may not see in front or alongside the vehicle. In turn, that can offer the driver more warning and the overall system more intelligence to avoid a potential crash.
Because the system operates with radar, it can detect people and cyclists ahead of the vehicle in darkness or dusk that the driver might have inadvertently overlooked. If the system senses a pedestrian or cyclist could be in the vehicle’s path, Front Assist can activate the Forward Collision Warning system and, in some cases, provide Automatic Emergency Braking.
On average, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes in a traffic crash in 2019, according to NHTSA.