Opel’s revelation of a new driver-aid system comes a day after we found a new application for classmate Distonic plus present on the Mercedes S-Class. This technology would support rather than irritate buyers looking for a mid-size car with extra safety features.
Some of the S-Class’s customers complained the Distronic plus along with other safety allies, snatched most of their effort while driving. A group of onboard computers were found guilty for this problem of turning drivers into merely passengers. A car which can brake and accelerate on its own is not a driver’s car after all, is it?
What a driver’s car needs is a device or a group of electronic gizmos to promote driving and not monotony. Opel’s answer couldn’t have come at a much better time.
Opel’s technology uses a camera fixed to the front windshield behind the mirrors, which detects road signs on the go. By clicking and analyzing 30 pictures every single second, the system can detect road signs displaying speed limits. Instead of applying the brakes or setting a constant speed, it will alert the driver by displaying the speed limit on the instrument cluster. If the speed limit changes, the driver is alerted again.
gallery: Opel Insignia
So, you take action, shed speed and now you are busy looking at the road doing 60 mph for a kilometer now in a 55 mph zone, which means the system has failed, right? Opel has thought about that and whenever the system recognizes a change in speed limit, there occurs a beep to inform the driver about it so that he can look at the display and be light-footed or unleash the horses. Smart!
The setup is also capable of reading ’no overtaking’ signs and lane markings and will alert the driver if he has veered off his path without triggering the indicators. But that is only after the system has completely studied the driver’s motoring habits.
Opel’s spokesperson Simon Hucknall was all sense when he said ’It’s all too easy to be distracted or be looking in your rear view mirror as you pass a traffic signal or road sign.’