8:30 PM | January 24 2020
Technology Focus: Pilot Assist
The clever driver-support technology that makes long freeway journeys more relaxing and comfortable.
In 2019, Volvo Cars introduced the world’s first self-driving production car, in collaboration with renowned ride-sharing company Uber.
It is fitting that this Volvo was a specially adapted XC90. It was the company’s luxury seven-seater SUV that, in 2015, debuted a new advanced driver aid called Pilot Assist that first pointed to a future of autonomous-drive technologies.
Pilot Assist is a driver-support function designed to make driving less tiring in busy traffic or out on the open road such as freeways. It operates as an extension of Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control.
The system combines inputs from the Volvo vehicle’s cameras and radar to monitor the car’s position. While the radar-controlled cruise control maintains a set speed and distance to the vehicle ahead, the Pilot Assist component provides subtle steering adjustments to keep your Volvo centred between lane markings.
The original Pilot Assist operated up to 50km/h and required a vehicle ahead to be detected. However, it wasn’t long before a second-generation version was introduced, which allowed the system to work independent of surrounding traffic while significantly increasing the operating speed to 130km/h.
This makes Pilot Assist particularly beneficial at freeway speeds as it helps reduce some of the steering effort required when the driver is typically undertaking a longer journey, helping to make it more relaxing and comfortable.
A gentle vibration on the steering wheel notifies the driver when Pilot Assist is active, and it can be turned off and on as desired.
Pilot Assist technology is available across Volvo Cars’ entire model range in Australia.
It’s important to emphasise that Pilot Assist is a supportive function only and that the driver is always responsible for how the car is controlled.
While using Pilot Assist you must keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road ahead at all times.