The US arm of Volkswagen has announced that for its 2016 range, drivers won’t have to look to its flagship models to get a car with the latest safety technology.
Active safety systems such as lane departure assist and adaptive cruise control have, until recently, been the preserve of range-topping luxury cars or premium models, but for the 2016 model year, Volkswagen is bringing a host of these systems to its mass-market cars in the US.
Volkswagen describes the decision, which will see its entire suite of driver assistance systems offered as standard or options on cars like its Golf and Jetta, as "democratizing" the technology for the compact sedan and compact hatchback classes, and it's a decision that could lead to a boost in popularity.
The results of the annual JD Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, published on July 23, show that there is a huge demand for driver assistance systems among the American public and those cars voted most appealing and gratifying to own by US drivers have these systems on board.
"Over the past several years, we have seen non-premium brands increasingly offer the types of in-vehicle technologies that used to be available only to premium buyers," said Renee Stephens, vice president of US automotive quality at J.D. Power, when the report was published. "The positive impact these technologies have on owners is more pronounced among non-premium owners. In fact, owners of non-premium vehicles that include the latest technology register higher APEAL scores by 50 points."
As well as adaptive cruise control (which can automatically maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead) and Lane Departure Warning (which will actively move the car back within lane markings if it senses the vehicle is straying), VW will also be offering its blind spot monitoring and parking assist systems as standard fare on a number of models and as an option on others.
One safety feature, post collision braking, will be standard on all new models and was developed by Volkswagen to counter the fact that in 18% of accidents, there is a second collision or impact. If a collision triggers the airbag, the brakes are automatically applied fully to reduce further injury form this second collision. – AFP Relaxnews, July 31, 2015.