BIRMINGHAM, UK -Integrated Driver Support, a collaboration between LucasVarity and Thomson-CFS Radars and Contre-Mesures, uses video and microwave radar to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
The system is currently under development. It is expected to reach the market in around 2000.
Integrated Driver Support will work with the adaptive cruise control systems like those due to appear on the next Mercedes-Benz S class, and on BMW and Audi models by the end of the decade.
It will use the car's steering and braking systems directly to avoid collisions, and to enable drivers to stay in lane.
The system collects data from grille-mounted microwave radar sensors and tiny video sensors in the rear of mirrors. It uses this information to control both engine speed and brake pressure.
Integrated Driver Support has been tested at driving distances of up to 1,000km a day, at speeds of up to 200kph in all weather conditions.
'The purpose of our collaboration is to create an effective partnership between a leading Tier 1 automotive company and a leader in radar design and manufacturing,' said Wenner Hinnekens, Thomson-CSF marketing systems manager.
David MacLeod, marketing and advanced systems director at LucasVarity Electrical and Electronic Systems in Birmingham, UK, called the electronics-based innovations 'some of the most exciting we've seen. As well as increasing functionality, we'll be able to cut costs.'
The technology has been demonstrated to manufacturers.
'We are now negotiating development contracts with more than one European vehicle maker,' said LucasVarity spokeswoman Malene Pickles.