Volkswagen Magazine

Innovation

Tech Check

The best assistance systems from Volkswagen simply explained. Episode 3: How the driver alert system can help you to arrive relaxed after long journeys.

What is the driver alert system?

A Volkswagen with a driver alert system is like having an attentive front passenger. The comfort system supports the driver on long-distance journeys and also gently reminds him both acoustically and visually to take a break.

How does the system work?

From the start of the journey, the algorithm of the driver alert system records and analyses a wide range of input signals, primarily steering wheel movements, pedal use, and lateral acceleration. Even the time of day and the duration of the journey are supportively incorporated into the calculations. If the driver is assessed as being tired on the basis of this algorithm, the system gives an acoustic and visual signal. “Fatigue detected. Please take a break” then appears in the instrument cluster between the tachometer and speedometer.

What does the system accomplish?

It can help the driver to assess his driving ability better – and thus avoid fatigue-related accidents. According to Volkswagen’s accident research, it is possible that fatigue plays a role in as many as 15 percent of all accidents. Moreover, comparatively more serious injuries occur in fatigue-related accidents. A system that advises when to take a break can help to improve accident statistics – just like ABS and ESP did when introduced.

What control do I have?

The driver alert system can be deactivated in the “Plus” multifunction display or in the car menu of the radio/navigation system.

Systematic analysis.

The driver alert system records and analyses the driver’s steering behaviour. During normal driving, the steering wheel constantly moves slightly. When the driver is tired, this so-called unconscious control behaviour is briefly suspended because the driver is holding the steering wheel rigid (dead-band). To correct this, excessive steering movements are subsequently performed at an accelerated speed (dead-band event).