Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt BusinessCar Office Blog: 7 May 2008
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BusinessCar Office Blog: 7 May 2008

Date: 07 May 2008   |   Author:

As mentioned previously, the new Honda Accord we drove across Europe last week was fitted with the firm's driver aids Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

LKAS monitors the car's position in the lane via a sensor in the windscreen and, as long as it can 'see' the white lines on either side, will gentle tease the car back to the centre of the lane if it edges slowly towards either boundary. A larger movement over a white line without the use of the indicators results in the driver being alerted via both a beep and a flashing dashboard signal.

ACC is a similar system to the one fitted to our Mondeo long-term test car, only this one is more user friendly and less irritating. It uses radar to sense vehicles ahead, and adjusts the car's speed down as it approaches slower traffic. As the traffic clears it then builds back up to the set velocity.

Both are driver aides that you start out thinking you don't need, but become increasingly valuable the longer you use them, particularly LKAS. It works very subtly and just takes the edge off the constant concentration of making small adjustments along the contours of a motorway. Obviously it doesn't replace driver input, but it's a useful back up that could also prevent tired drivers causing crashes because it senses when a car's veered out of its lane and chimes away like an annoying alarm clock!

ACC is also useful, though whether it's a better system than basic cruise control is dependent on circumstance. You can easily cover a couple of hundred motorway miles without touching a pedal, though the system was occasionally upset by slow-moving traffic on the inside lane if the road banked gently, making the car think you were heading straight for said lorry. It's also slower than humans to react to the traffic ahead moving out of the way, which means the bloke behind can't understand why you're not accelerating into that big expanse of empty motorway that's just appeared.

But both systems are things you can expect to filter through from options to standard equipment and in more and more cars, as has been the case with anti-lock brakes and now increasingly ESP anti-skid control. And as the technology develops over time, particularly in the case of ACC, they'll be worthy additions.