Acura and ADAS

Will advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology make a difference to customers for luxury cars and crossovers, especially younger ones?

Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura, thinks so. “We are working toward a zero-collision society, and this approach”—as in equipping vehicles with AcuraWatch ADAS—“is resonating strongly with younger luxury customers who show increasing interest in safety technologies.” Ikeda added, “Deploying active safety and driver-assistive technology broadly is one way we are taking care of our customers and differentiating Acura.”

AcuraWatch, which is based on millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera, includes a collision mitigation system with forward collision warning (a.k.a., “automatic emergency braking”), road departure mitigation with lane departure warning; lane-keeping assist; and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow.

The system is standard on the 2017 MDX sport ute and the RLX sedan and is available on all Acura vehicles. Acura intends to make it standard on all of its core vehicles at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Another ADAS feature that it is deploying is what it is calling “Traffic Jam Assist.” This is based on a mid-range radar sensor, long-range radar sensor, multi-purpose camera and stereo video camera as sensor inputs and electromechanical steering for automatic vehicle maneuvering within some constraints. While AcuraWatch features low-speed follow, when the vehicle comes to a full stop with that system it is necessary for the driver to provide input to resume forward motion. The Traffic Jam Assist permits acceleration without input.

During the first two months of 2017 almost half of the Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with AcuraWatch, which gives credence to Ikeda’s comments. The company has had the technology on offer since 2014, when it launched it on the 2015 TLX.