Our Evaluation of Automated Safety Technology

THE PROBLEM:
A trip to the slopes for skiing or snowboarding is full of fun but physically draining. On the return drive exhaustion can create a potentially dangerous scenario behind the wheel — especially on snowy roads.

THE SOLUTION:
During the Trucks.com Winter Adventure Drive vehicles such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Tahoe, Tesla Model X and Subaru Outback were equipped with automated safety features, including lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

WHAT WE LEARNED:
Many new vehicles today offer automated safety features that can decrease the likelihood of a crash or accident. While each brand’s technology behaves differently, those tested from Ford, Chevrolet, Tesla and Subaru effectively improved driving safety on cold and snowy roads. Automakers typically group these features together in safety packages that can cost between $1,000 and $2,500. However each offer differs based on the manufacturer and vehicle.

Hack 1: Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking

HACK 1: FORWARD COLLISION WARNING AND AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING: Automatic emergency braking did not activate during our Winter Adventure snowy drive in Utah, however the forward collision warning issued flashes and beeps to alert the driver to slowing vehicles ahead. This technology reduces the likelihood of a crash, according to the insurance industry.

Hack 2: Adaptive Cruise Control

HACK 2: ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL: Adaptive cruise control uses radar to match the pace of traffic If the vehicle in front slows, the system automatically brakes accordingly — in some cases, to a full stop. This worked well in clear or light snow conditions. It reduced fatigue and left drivers feeling refreshed after several hours of driving.

Hack 3: Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keep Assist

HACK 3: LANE-DEPARTURE WARNING AND LANE-KEEP ASSIST: Lane-departure warning reads the boundaries of the road and issues alerts if the vehicle drifts. It is often paired with lane-keep assist, which automatically steers the vehicle back to the center of the lane. The technology worked at night and on steep grades and with some snow on the road.

Test result: Automated safety technology is recommended by Trucks.com

Editor’s note: featured image courtesy of Tesla.

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