The 2016 Malibu, for example, features a new, industry-leading feature, Teen Driver. This technology allows parents to help teens develop safe driving habits by learning more about a teen’s experiences behind the wheel. Parents can register their teen’s key fob to obtain a report card following the teen’s driving trip on parameters such as:
- Distance driven
- Maximum speed traveled
- Number of over-speed warnings issued
- Number of Enhanced Stability Control (ESC) events
- Number of Antilock Brake System events
- Number of Forward Collision Alerts, if equipped
- Number of Front Automatic Braking events, if equipped
Teen Driver also reinforces safe driving behavior by allowing parents to set a warning when the vehicle exceeds a preset speed and limit the maximum audio volume. The technology also encourages teens to buckle up by muting the radio or any device paired to the vehicle until the driver and front passenger are wearing their seat belts.
During 2015, GM also introduced six new active safety features for 2016 model year vehicles, bringing the total active safety offerings up to 22 features.
- Low Speed Front Automatic Braking applies the brakes automatically if a vehicle is traveling at a low speed and the system detects that a front-end collision situation is imminent and the driver has not already applied the brakes. By automatically applying the brakes, the system can help reduce the severity of the collision or avoid it entirely at very low speeds.
- Front Pedestrian Braking alerts the driver and, if necessary, automatically applies the brakes if the system detects that a pedestrian is directly ahead and a collision is imminent. Automatic brake application can reduce the collision’s severity or avoid the collision.
- Full Display Mirror displays a wider, less obstructed field of view to assist when driving, changing lanes and checking for vehicles and traffic conditions as compared with a traditional inside rearview mirror. The system may also provide increased rear visibility at night.
- Curb View Camera provides the driver a view of the scene immediately ahead of the vehicle on the vehicle’s center stack display to help the driver avoid low-speed collisions into nearby objects, such as curbs, poles and parked vehicles. The system works in forward gear during low-speed maneuvering (e.g., parking).
- Surround Vision Recorder allows the driver to record, store (on an SD card) and play back a video of the images recorded by the vehicle’s Surround Vision feature cameras.
- Night Vision provides the driver an infrared night vision image of the area lit beyond the headlamps that highlights and provides alerts to detected pedestrians or large animals.
In addition to the active safety features introduced in 2015, GM has announced support for an automotive industry agreement proposed by NHTSA and IIHS that would lead to making Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking standard on light vehicles. Both technologies are available today on dozens of 2016 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models, accounting for more than 1 million vehicles on the road. Currently, 37 models are available with forward collision alert, and 19 models offer both forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking.
Beyond active safety technology, the past year also saw the validation of OnStar’s Injury Severity Prediction (ISP) algorithm. Dr. Stewart Wang, director of the University of Michigan Program for Injury Research and Education (UMPIRE), published and presented findings validating the ISP, which GM introduced in 2010. The validation used actual crashes from the state of Michigan. ISP is included as part of OnStar on equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to provide additional information to first responders in the event of a vehicle crash triggering Automatic Crash Notification. The algorithm analyzes crash information such as air bag deployment, seat belt use and direction of impact to determine the probability of severe injury to the vehicle occupants. OnStar Advisors then relay the ISP rating to 911 centers for the use of first responders. The publication of the study has generated great interest within the emergency service response community.
OnStar’s next-generation wireless capabilities may even further enhance the connected vehicle’s transformative public safety function by allowing emergency responders and other medical providers to obtain, receive and analyze even more information related to an emergency incident.