With millions of drivers and pedestrians sharing the road, it’s more important than ever to help them do so safely. That’s why Volkswagen developed its Pedestrian Monitoring technology as part of its Front Assist system to help drivers stay aware of other road users.
The applied technology that makes Pedestrian Monitoring possible is a small radar, a narrow square a few inches on each side that discreetly fits behind the Volkswagen emblem on the front of the vehicle. Able to work in daylight or darkness, the radar sweeps points located in an area within about 35 degrees and up to about 400 feet ahead of the vehicle hundreds of times per minute. The system then analyzes the data from the radar for the specific “signature” of pedestrians that are about to cross in front of the vehicle or walking away from the vehicle inside the vehicle’s path.
If the car is traveling at a speed between about 4 and 18.6 mph, and the Pedestrian Monitoring detects movement in front of the vehicle, the system applies automatic braking to slow or stop itself to help avoid a collision, using a precise amount of braking force. At speeds between 18.6 and 40 mph, the Pedestrian Monitoring system sends both audible and visual alerts to the driver – and if the driver does not respond, then automatic braking engages. The system does not operate at speeds above 40 mph.
It is important to note that Pedestrian Monitoring may not work in all conditions and environments, for example when the radar sensor’s vision is blocked by dirt or snow; it can only function within the laws of physics. But the radar technology can offer improved awareness of pedestrians in fog or harsh sun glare where a driver’s vision might be hindered.
Currently, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring is available on all 2019 Volkswagen models except the Beetle, Jetta and Passat ; it’s standard on the Arteon, Atlas, Golf, Golf R and Golf Alltrack and included on all but the base trim levels of other models. By 2022, Front Assist and autonomous emergency breaking (AEB) are expected be standard on nearly all Volkswagen models – an important step toward accident prevention.