What is Lane Assist and How Does it Work?
We explain everything you need to know about the important driver assistance system
To the relief of the safety conscious, there’s never been a better time to buy a new car. The amount of safety technology inside is nothing short of incredible, developments that have been celebrated by motorists, dealerships, and independent safety bodies alike. In fact, you can no longer get the coveted 5-star Euro NCAP rating without crash avoidance technology.
One of the features that has transformed the way that drivers are kept safe is lane assistance technology. Often referred to simply as lane assist, it is also known as lane keeping, or lane departure warning, to name just a few. But what is it and how does it work?
What is lane assist?
Lane assist keeps tabs on where your vehicle is in relation to the white lines on the road, and can detect if you’re deviating from them. This deviation could be down to the driver being distracted, falling asleep, or suffering a medical episode.
The system will then either warn you that you are departing from your lane, or actually act on your behalf, pulling you back onto the straight and narrow.
How does lane assist work?
In order to monitor the white lines that your vehicle is travelling within, a camera is mounted onto the vehicle, usually in the upper part of the windscreen, sometimes with the help of sensors too. If it detects that the car is drifting, it will alert the driver via an audible alarm, a vibration through the steering wheel, and or a visible warning light.
If no action is taken following a lane assist alert, systems with Active Lane Assist will take ‘action’ on your behalf, putting the car back in its lane via the steering, or by braking.
At least one hand must be on the steering wheel in order for Lane Assist to kick in, and some lane-keeping systems are intuitive enough to understand when a driving style doesn’t need the intervention of a lane assist system.
Is lane assist always reliable?
Lane assist has attracted criticism in the way it handles unusual road markings, or lines that have faded over time. It works using cameras and sensors, so it can’t be as intuitive as you’d like in some of these situations. Lane assist can be turned off, so if you’re concerned about how your car will handle a complex road layout, you can stand it down for the time being.
Lane assist will often only work at speeds over 30-40mph, so if the majority of your driving is done at slow speeds in urban areas for example, you may not feel the full benefit.
What cars have lane assist?
Whilst not a compulsory feature on new cars as Autonomous Emergency Braking is, it’s a standard bit of safety tech on many modern models. Many of the new cars we offer here at EMG have lane assist as part of their safety packages, like the Kia Sorento, and the MG ZS EV.
With the technology being popular for a few years now, you’ll also find that many used models come with lane assist on board too.
Talk to us about lane assist at EMG
Our sales team are always more than happy to discuss the safety features that you’d like to see in your next new or used car, so do get in touch with us if you’re interested in cars with lane assist built in. Your safety is our top priority, so it’s important that you feel confident driving away in your new set of wheels.
You can find out more about car safety technology in this article.