It’s happened to all of us: a driver to our right or left isn’t paying attention, and begins to drift into our lane. More often than not, the driver is distracted by cell phone, make up, food or blood alcohol content, and most times we’re able to hit the horn or brakes to avoid a collision. That assumes we’re paying attention, but what if we’re the one wandering from our lane? BMW’s latest innovation, the Lateral Collision Avoidance System, is designed to give drivers both a visual warning and to initialize corrective action, which may help prevent side to side collisions in the future.
Unlike blind-spot monitoring systems, which provide visual warning to if another vehicle is in a side mirror’s blind spot, the BMW system provides remedial action to avoid a collision. The BMW driver can override any corrections made by the Lateral Collision Avoidance System, which should help drivers avoid putting their cars into a guardrail or Jersey barrier. While I like the idea of an encroachment warning, I’m not sold on the thought of my car taking corrective action for me. When I drive a car with lane departure correction, it’s usually the first feature that I disable.
There’s no word on when (or if) BMW will put the Lateral Collision Avoidance System into production, as it’s currently part of their “future lab” research to develop safer cars.