Volkswagen offers Bosch anti-drowsiness feature in Passat Alltrack

Article by Christian A., on May 1, 2012

With the Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection system, the early signs of fatigue will be detected while driving before a critical situation happens. Microsleep and fatigue at the steering wheel are two of the frequent causes of serious accidents. The system will monitor steering movements and advise the one behind the wheel to take a break.

This vital information is communicated by the steering angle sensor or by the electric power steering system of the vehicle. The steering angle sensor is part of the vehicle's ESP anti-skid system. This means that it would be cost-effective to fit the feature, which aids in further boosting road safety.

The Bosch Driver Drowsiness Detection is useable in light commercial vehicles and in passenger cars. It can also be combined with a range of control units in automobiles. In 2010, it was launched in the new Volkswagen Passat as a standard feature. The new Passat Alltrack is the latest vehicle to be fitted with the system.

In various studies, the influence of fatigue on accidents has been shown. The American Automobile Association (AAA) published in 2010 an analysis of the accident data, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected in the United States.

The assessment revealed that overtired individuals were driving in 17% of all deadly accidents in the nation. Fatigue and fading concentration compromise the response time and steering behavior of the driver.

When fine motor skills depreciate, the steering behavior becomes less precise. The driver is also observed to frequently make small adjustments in its steering to correct errors.

This recent driver drowsiness detection feature is founded on an algorithm which starts recording the steering behavior of the driver at the start of the trip. It then identifies changes throughout the course of long trips as well as the level of fatigue of the driver.

Usual signs of diminishing concentration are durations in which the driver is barely maneuvering matched with slight but abrupt and quick steering movements to maintain the vehicle on track.

Volkswagen revealed that the Passat Alltrack will either have the front-wheel drive configuration or the all-wheel drive system also known as 4MOTION. Regardless of what set-up the customer decides on, both configurations will ensure excellent drive despite extremely rough terrain and will allow as well for large tow loads. This is why the brand is offering four of its latest turbocharged engines that also display strong torque with two being powered by gas (TSI) and the other two by diesel (TDI).

In terms of torque, the ones in these four engines range from a low of 250 Nm up to a high of 350 Nm, with the maximum amount available in at least 1,750 rpm. For the TSI engines, the 1.8-liter version has an output of 118 kW (160 PS) with the 2.0-liter unit being capable of 155 kW (210 PS). While the two TDI engines both have a 2.0-liter displacement, the first one can churn out 103 kW (140 PS) while the second can release 125 kW (170 PS).

Aside from having the same displacement, the TDI engines will have the BlueMotion Technology equipped as standard. This means the diesel engines will not only have the Start/Stop system but also have a battery regeneration mode to allow for energy to be recovered especially when braking. Though the TSI engine will not have the Start/Stop system, they will include the battery regeneration mode.

The engines that exhibit the highest power, the 155 kW (210 PS) unit for the TSI and the 125 kW (170 PS) version of the TDI, will both have the 4MOTION system which will be paired to the dual-clutch gearbox.

However, the brand will be offering the 4MOTION as an option but only for the other diesel engine. The advantages of using the 4MOTION system are seen on the fuel economy and the CO2 emissions. For the 125 kW (170 PS) diesel unit, fuel economy is estimated at 5.9 1/100 km with CO2 emissions at 155 g/km. For those who opt to have the 4MOTION on their 103 kW (140 PS) TDI engine, fuel economy is estimated to be 5.7 1/100 km while CO2 emissions are measured at 150 g/km.

The TSI engines are just as efficient, considering that they are similar to their diesel counterpart but give a feeling as if they have been fitted with direct fuel injection. Like all the previous Passats that have been released by Volkswagen, the new Passat Alltrack will be manufactured at its facility located in Emden, Germany.

Topics: vw, bosch, vw passat, alltrack

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