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ADAS to Autonomous: Traffic Jam Assist

Traffic jam assist uses anti-collision, anti-bump and anti-scrape tools to help a car glide smoothly along in the most annoying of road conditions.

Source: MotorAuthority

The system helps drivers cope with the frustrations and distractions of being stuck in a traffic jam. It is like cruise control, except it is designed specifically to work in heavy traffic instead of on an open road. It is limited to use at slow speeds, in fact, it is intended for travel at 31 miles per hour (50 kilometres per hour) or less.

Like a lot of automotive innovations, this one came out of something else. It is a natural next-step from advanced cruise control technology. It is a follow-up of sorts to Adaptive Cruise Control system, which uses a combination of cameras and radar to maintain a safe, set distance behind a car in front (a direct but distinct evolution of the decades-old standard cruise control, which simply maintains a steady speed and relies on the driver’s judgement to avoid obstacles), and Lane Keeping Aid, which uses a network of cameras and sensors to keep the car centred within its lane. The car monitors the vehicle in front and paces it to automatically maintain steady following distance. It will also steer to stay within the lane. If the car in front swerves to avoid an obstacle, a car equipped with traffic jam assist can mimic the same swerve path by following the tire treads. Altogether, the traffic jam assist system commandeers the engine, steering and brakes. So, by pressing the button, the driver entrusts the car to make the most important judgement calls on heavy-traffic: steering, deciding when to accelerate and decelerate and determining how much of a distance cushion to maintain around other vehicles and obstacles.

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