Best driver-assist car features

A breakdown of the best tech-assisted driving features on the market.

While the thought of not having total control of your car might be daunting, it can be a lifesaver. With the progression of technology in the area of driver-assist systems, we highlight five of the most common driver-assist features you should look for when in the market for a new car.

Blind Spot Detection

By using cameras and sensors built into side mirrors, Blind Spot Detection (BSD) can tell you when a vehicle comes alongside your vehicle and trigger an alert letting you know it’s not safe to change lanes. Certain vehicles also come equipped with Active BSD, which can steer your vehicle back in your lane if a car around you is changing lanes. If your car does not come fitted with BSD, some aftermarket Dash Cams and GPS have similar safety alerts.

Lane Departure Warning

Drifting out of your lane due to inattention is a common cause of accidents. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems use cameras and sensors around the vehicle to warn drivers when their tyre is about to drift over the lane markings. Some vehicles have further assistance technology which can steer you back into the lane in addition to the alert.

Forward Collision Warning

Rear enders are one of the most common types of accidents and frequently occur in stop-start traffic. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) can help by using a sensor to detect the distance between your vehicle and the one in front. The system will then alert the driver if a crash is imminent and some FCW systems will apply the brakes to prevent a crash and even detect pedestrians and cyclists.

Active Cruise Control

Motorists who drive long distances swear by cruise control, but often have one common complaint which is turning off the system and resetting it in traffic. With Active Cruise Control, the system can tell when the car ahead is moving slowly and decrease your speed. Some systems even bring the car to a complete stop and allow it to move slowly ahead, so you don’t need to touch the controls in peak hour traffic.

Automated Parking

For some, parking is a breeze and they can manoeuvre their car into any spot with ease. Others may actively avoid the dreaded reverse parallel park and can spend hours looking for just the right spot. Automated parking can help by using onboard cameras to detect suitable spots, then take control of the steering and braking to manoeuvre the car into place.