And they work thanks to a network of sensors, microprocessors and cameras that constantly monitor everything what happens inside and outside the vehicle and are felt, heard or seen through sounds, light alerts or vibrations in the steering wheel or pedals.
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However, there are others in which the driver does not perceive that they are working for him, because they autonomously and according to the readings made by the sensors are permanently correcting driving errors.
That’s when we talk about ‘invasive’ alerts in driving, or to put it in more colloquial terms, when the electronics distrust the pilot, since most of the aids come to do their job automatically.
At this point, aids such as emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision alertblind spot and lane abandonment, among others, end up being ‘invasive’, especially when traveling through cities and highways like ours.
In our case, the alerts have ‘extra’ work due to the constant presence of other road actors (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and others) very close to the vehicle. It usually happens when they zigzag in the middle of traffic, or when the safety distance is not respected, which produces untimely braking when the system is activated.
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This is due to the fact that the computers, the algorithms or parameters that act with the electronics of the aids have a very precise measurement, to carry out a certain operation at a specific distance, because in the face of the risk of an accident, there is not and cannot be a tolerance zone.
In any case, the objective of the assists is not to replace the driver, but to improve their handling. Therefore, the systems have the ability to detect risk situations. In the event that there is no response from the pilot, assistance intervenes to avoid an accident or mitigate it.
As radars, sensors and cameras constantly monitor the environment, your reaction time is very fast. On average, the system takes only 0.3 seconds to act. Studies conducted in the United States indicate that people take between 0.75 and 1.5 seconds to react and brake in an emergency situation. The reaction averages in general of the population are situated in 2.5 seconds.
Although this may not seem like much, an extra second in reaction time at a speed of 40 km/h translates into 11 meters traveled before you start to apply the brake pedal. In addition, reaction times in humans are subject to factors such as age, level of attention or fatigue, and visibility.
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Studies done in the United States indicate that some drivers are abusing these technologies, and explain this phenomenon through the Homeostatic Risk Compensation theory (Wilde, 1988). According to that theory, “every driver is willing to accept a constant level of risk and the safer he feels in his car, the more risks he takes.”
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This means that if people were driving less safe cars they would drive much more cautiously, knowing that any accident would have serious consequences. To the other side, when driving a car With a high level of security, speed and risk are increased, there is no precaution to feel more protected.
In other cases, such as with lane departure or cross traffic warning, because the driver knows that the vehicle stays inside on its own, he allows himself to drive drowsily or without looking in the mirrors, relying ‘blindly’ in the operation of the system.