Volkswagen AG, the interim world’s largest automaker, has announced it would include automatic braking and other crash avoidance features as standard or optional on the vast majority of its 2016 models in the US.
The introduction of the new systems will start later this year, according to a company statement. The automaker said these would include systems that can full stop the automobile from around 18 miles (29 km) per hour if an imminent impact is detected by the onboard sensors. According to a presentation from VW senior engineer Michael Rohlfs, higher speeds will determine the automatic braking system to slow the vehicle though it might not reach a complete stop before the impact. The company is also introducing several other automatic features, such as land departure assist or a system to keep a safe distance between vehicles in traffic. Certain models form the VW brand would also receive automated parking systems that can also take over the steering.
Volkswagen offered the news of its foray into new collision avoidance technology and other convenience features, such as updated infotainment systems, during a presentation at its Silicon Valley research laboratory. Pushing for new and more advanced safety features is another step along the journey of automakers to direct the customers towards the age of the autonomous cars. Their strategy is fundamentally different – incremental updates – to technology companies such as Google that want to make the jump in just one take. Volkswagen also announced the integration of advanced infotainment features – Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, pushing smartphone car integration to the next level.