EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE
In developing these systems, Volkswagen can draw on data from up to 1,000 accidents analyzed by Zobel’s team every year. The accident researchers in Wolfsburg can be reached 24 hours a day and work closely together with the police. If any accidents involving a Volkswagen vehicle occur anywhere in Lower Saxony, the experts go to examine the damage. A few days later, psychological interviews are also conducted with the drivers. “Real detective work,” says Zobel. After all, the more that is known about the typical behavior of motorists in critical situations, the more effectively technical systems such as distance control and lane assist can be developed.
To round out his driving and safety training in Upper Bavaria, Stuck has put together a small race course, complete with slalom, lane-changing and ultra-precise braking. Fischer clears all obstacles, hits the brakes until the discs smoke and comes to a perfect standstill. “Excellent time,” grunts Hollweck to his younger colleague. Fischer’s sister grins and gives him the thumbs-up. “The guy is a really good driver for his age,” Stuck will say later. Still, it is not enough for Fischer to win the race today. Or Hollweck, for that matter. At the end of the day, Stuck’s rule for real road situations is just as applicable for the training – when it comes to the crunch, you only have one chance to get it right.
What the future holds
Left: Environment sensing and
Right top: Drowsiness monitor
Right bottom: Integral driving
NEW TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE SET TO REVOLUTIONIZE ACTIVE SAFETY
Environment sensing and “car2x communication”
Cameras, radar sensors and laser sensors all combine to monitor the vehicle’s entire environment. These generate an exact image of the area around the vehicle – an image to which the assistance systems are designed to respond. Ideally, this also includes data sent by WLAN from traffic lights, road signs and other vehicles. Communicating cars then come together to form temporary networks (“car-to-car communication”).
The Volkswagen of the future will be able to tell from the driver’s steering behavior whether he or she is nodding off. If this happens, the system will alert the driver using a vibrating steering wheel and a sound signal. The navigation aid will show where the next rest stop is.
Integral driving dynamics regulator
The integral driving dynamics regulator takes up where ESP left off, controlling drives, brakes, steering and suspension centrally. And not just in critical driving situations, but all the time. The handling can be varied at the touch of a button – from sporty to comfortable.
Small but safe
FIVE STARS FOR THE SAFEST POLO OF ALL TIMES
The new Volkswagen Polo is the first car in its class to have passed the tough new European crash tests. The five-star rating in the “New Car Assessment Program” proves that safety should no longer be seen as a luxury. In controlled tests, the car was driven against a barrier at 64 km/h, leaving the high-strength steel passenger cell virtually undamaged. The tests showed that when it comes to safety standards, the Polo is on an equal footing with five-star models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Touran, Passat and Touareg, making the Volkswagen model range one of the safest in the world.