Cadillac ‘Virtual Bumper’ Helps Avoid Parking Crashes

Parking sensors have become very widespread. They are available as an option on pretty much any car you can think of, and their usefulness is undeniable. However, Cadillac has taken the concept one step further, adding a bit of automatic braking into the mix.
Cadillac Virtual Bumper 1 photo
Photo: Cadillac
The system not only detects obstacles, like regular sensor arrays do, but it also brakes for the driver if the impact is imminent. It is available as part of the Driver Assist Package for the 2013 ATS and XTS sedans, as well as on the SRX crossover.

According to the head of the program at Cadillac, Charles Green, “Radars, vision, and ultrasonic sensors in the vehicle are constantly analyzing data and working together to determine if a crash may be imminent [. . .] Based on these calculations, the vehicle can automatically brake to avoid a crash or reduce impact speed, and if necessary, can apply the vehicle’s maximum braking capability.

But how does it work, exactly? Well, if the driver fails to respond while backing up into a parking spot, for instance, and if the sensors detect an imminent impact, they will apply the brakes automatically, and they will hold the car in place until the driver presses the throttle pedal.

Green went on to say: “We have spent eight years researching driver behavior which has been incorporated into the design of automatic braking in the Cadillac ATS, XTS, and SRX [. . .] Our goal is to effectively provide an extra level of safety support while keeping the driver in complete control of the vehicle at all times.
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