Get Off My Butt: Nissan Develops Rear-End-Avoider For The Masses
I’m still shaking when I think back to my first ride in the passenger seat of a brandnew Phaeton. It was piloted by a known reckless high executive of Volkswagen. Near Hannover, we barreled down the Autobahn, with the speedo indicating something above 250 km/h. I didn’t dare to inspect it closer, because I was scared to death. We were in the thickest of fogs. Visibility zero. “Aren’t you worried?” I inquired with a shaking voice. “Nope. We have RADAR.” Actually, it was called Abstandswarnung (distance warning). Now, Nissan will make it available to the common Joe.
Nissan says they have technology for preventing rear-end collisions via an in-car radar that monitors the distance to the vehicle ahead, reports The Nikkei [sub]. When the car gets too close for comfort, an alarm sounds and the accelerator pedal is pushed up to prompt the driver to get off the butt of the preceding car. “If the driver still does not hit the brakes, the system automatically does so when the distance narrows to 5 meters,” says the Nikkei, adding that “the automaker aims to commercialize the technology as soon as possible.” Then, we can text and call as much as we want.
So now, when I'm cruising along the freeway and someone jerks into the lane in front of me, his car will now start auto-braking if he was less than five meters from the car ahead? That'll be fun. And if there's gridlock, will everyone just have to get out and walk home, since the cars won't let them move? OK, that's overstating, and I really hope they work this out. However, I'm becoming increasingly tempted to find all the fun, low-milage 90s/early 2000 cars I can.
"We have RADAR" soon to be added to Famous-Last-Words list including: "We have ABS" "Watch this!"
That wouldn't work for me when I'm 'shooting the gap' to get out of a pack of slowpokes and left lane cloggers. I never tailgate, but accelerate and pass within a few meters I will do if the need arises.
I hope most people don't take the 250km/h 0 visibility idea and run with it in these cars. But unfortunately, I know some will.