Driver-assistance features and a peace of mind!

Oct 05, 2018 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Know why these features are just important as other major car features.

Driver-assistance features help drivers manage all driving tasks by giving visual and auditory inputs of the cars condition.

I. Driver-assistance features are so underrated and not given its due

In prior articles, car safety features like active and passive safety were explored and explained in depth why they are crucial. Now, this part will gloss over assistive car features and expose why they are just as significant as major features.

Every experienced driver would know that inputs are important and having the right situational awareness while driving should be prioritized. Driving is about taking in all these inputs that are made possible by otherwise mundane driver-assistance features.

By design, most safety features are governed by autonomous and automatic systems by triggering them or through computerized control. Assistive car features will register, display or remind the driver of any relevant condition that must be noted.

Drivers must do something about it because they are not automatic, unlike other features that turn on and off automatically! Essentially, these are analogue systems with improved sensors which includes, more modern sophisticated and automatic features.

driver assistance features timeline

Most of the driver-assistance features are what allows the driver to adapt and react effectively in any specific condition

It can be argued that safety features in modern cars are more efficient, but another aspect of this argument is that cars still need the analogue inputs. When driving, human decisions are still needed, and full autonomy via automatic features can be dangerous. It is faster for a driver to make the decision and react accordingly to a situation that does not require complex responses.

Most of the driver-assistance features are what allows the driver to adapt and react effectively in any specific condition. Driving on the road is chaos in motion, but is controlled by rules and regulations, every situation encountered will need a visual, auditory, or even a shake in the steering wheel to alert the driver.

II. Limitations of driver-assitance features

Most of these car features are always active and can’t be shut down unless the fuse for it is pulled off! If safety features have certain thresholds that should not be breached, these assistive features show its status. Conversely, these features should be acted on especially if the car is on the move! Stopping to check, if there is a malfunctioning fuse or if it should be checked by a technician.

Assistive features are a no-brainer; it warns of a major problem. If the driver is guilty of distracted driving; that's the only reason that it could be missed.

#1. If there’s a speed limit in place, the speedometer will measure how fast the car is going. Using Cruise Control is optional, to keep below the speed limit but it maintains a constant speed. Unless Adaptable Cruise Control is available, the best bet is to use the registered speed as a guide to applying brakes when needed.

cruise control

Using Cruise Control is optional, to keep below the speed limit but it maintains a constant speed

#2. The brake warning light goes off while driving. This assistive feature is screaming check the brakes, but if it is ignored then brake failure and an accident will follow! This is one of the thresholds that should be avoided.

#3. If the engine warning indicator light goes off or the battery light, it does mean real trouble for the car. If the engine warning indicator lights up, which might be something wrong and should be checked immediately. Either the parts of the car's electrical system need checking, or the engine has an issue to deal with. Better assume something because when they light up, it means something needs to be done immediately, not later. Here are 6 important car warning signs on the dashboard that you should pay attention to.

engine warning light

If the engine warning indicator lights up, which might be something wrong and should be checked immediately

#4. A moving car should have all doors locked, especially if there are children inside. This problem is none existent with cars that have speed or auto locks because it locks automatically. But, for some cars without it having the door ajar warning should be noted and see what door is locked. Keep clear of cars that don’t have auto locks but if it can be added, do so! Door ajar warning lights are so basic that it could be forgotten.

door ajar warning light

Door ajar warning lights are so basic that it could be forgotten

#5. Turning signals or side-view mirrors that have turning signal lights are basic equipment that is indispensable. Signaling when turning is important and these turning signals assist the driver and other driver to react appropriately.

These are just a few basic driver-assistance features that involve active participation of the driver. Keep in mind another assistive feature work in concert when accomplishing a task, relevant to road safety.

III. A rundown of relevant driver-assistance features

Here Philkotse.com reveals everything that should be familiarized with to allow driving with situational awareness. These features play a role in better driver management while inside the car, for better-timed reactions based on a visual, haptic, and auditory input.

1. The front dash that has the speedometer, an odometer that shows the driver how RPM’s the engine produces in real time. By checking the speed or the RPMs produced, the driver will know whether the engine is in running condition or not.

2. Seatbelt warning light will remind all occupants to belt-in. Usually, the warning light will pester the occupants to wear seatbelts, especially those in front.

3. Handbrake warning light will light up if it is still engaged. Moving the car with the handbrake engaged can harm the brake disk and pads when the car is moving. Novice drivers have this tendency; but with practice, it is corrected.

handbrake warning light

Handbrake warning light will light up if it is still engaged

4. Power steering is the best driver-assistance feature because it lightens, the steering wheel. Without power steering, we’d get tired steering the car.

5. Cabin lights, map lights, trunk lights that provide illumination when it’s dark! Imagine not having these lights handy when needed? It’s a very basic assistive feature that helps a lot, better than holding a flashlight, right?

6. LED screens and touchscreens that display tire pressure and whether the ESC or traction control is engaged. These assistive features give a visual of what high-tech features are engaged when driving, as visual inputs. Allowing the driver to know what’s going, at a glance and reacting appropriately because it isn't all for show.

7. A rear-view mirror allows the driver to see what’s in the back of the car if there are no backing sensors. A very basic throwback to the early days of motoring that hasn’t changed. A simple assistive feature like this does not need batteries and is almost invisible in the passenger compartment. Driving without it or the side-view mirror can be a pain.

rear view mirror

 A rear-view mirror allows the driver to see what’s in the back of the car if there are no backing sensors

8. All status indicators from the ABS to other relevant features and functions that reveal a car’s status at a glance. The light up when the engine is turned on and disappears when everything checks out okay. It lights up if there is a problem detected like faulty brake or a discharging batter, and better yet a problem with the engine too (not wanted!).

9. Lastly are all the controls for the wipers, defogger, and manual controls for other relevant assistive features. Drivers activate these features and turn them off manually, but some of these features are automatic.

10. Bright sunlight while driving causes glare but the sun visor pulled down, covers the driver’s eyes. Pockets and recesses that allow items to be stored and is within reach! All these features are found in even the simplest cars, but the simplicity makes them very handy!

car sun visor

 Bright sunlight while driving causes glare but the sun visor pulled down, covers the driver’s eyes

Listed are all the driver-assitance features that help drivers manage driving better.

IV. Driver-assistance features: Last thoughts

Thinking about driver-assitance features and the peace of mind they give drivers, is important for many reasons. The importance of these features cannot be underscored; because they enable visual and auditory input for drivers. Without these features, no driver cannot muster situational awareness to manage and drive effectively in real time. It’s either ignore it or act on it.

>>> Read more articles about car features on Philkotse.com:

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas