Volkswagen is playing the spoof game once again. Playing off of a very Speed-esque bus chase scene, the German automaker advertises its new Safe Distance Technology in a thrilling example of Hollywood filmmaking.
The commercial (airing in the UK) starts with a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit hijacking a public transportation bus. Speeding up from the rear is a Volkswagen Tiguan manned by 2 suited men. As they accelerate up to the bus, the passenger climbs out of the sunroof and onto the hood of the car. The man on the hood signals to the driver to get closer to the bus so he can jump on to save the day. Just before the man is within reach of the bus, the car alerts the driver that it can't get any closer. All of a sudden, a voiceover says, "Safe Distance Technology, made for real life, not the movies" and the man never reaches the bus and doesn't save the day.
Volkswagen's safe distance technology is just an adaptation of Adaptive Cruise Control. A combination of the Front Assist Traffic Monitoring system and ACC, the safe distance technology helps keep the vehicle a safe distance from the car in front, making driving in stop and go traffic much easier. It allows the driver to pre-set the speed range that he/she wants to remain in. The system will detect traffic ahead and slow the car and then reset the pre-set speed range accordingly. If the VW is too close to the vehicle in front, it will alert the driver with visual and auditory signals. Supposing the driver does not comply, the car will brake itself until a full stop, if necessary.
The SDT uses a radar sensor with a range of up to 200 meters in the front of the car, usually just behind the grille. It processes signals from the sensor to compute distance and relative speed and it recalculates the speed accordingly. One shortcoming of the SDT is that it cannot detect obstructions that aren't cars, so keeping an eye on the road at all times is still imperative. In order to remain safe, the vehicle requires manual braking if the deceleration of the car in front exceeds 30% of the vehicle's maximum stopping power.
Safe distance technology will be available on the Tiguan, Passat, and other new VW models.