AUTORIDE | All about cars
AUTORIDE | All about cars

Lane Assist: Do you know the lane tracking system?

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Lane Assist is a lane monitoring system. So it is a system that allows you to keep the car in the lane. The Lane Assist warning lights on the dashboard signal that the system is on, but they can also signal a malfunction depending on their color.

The Lane Assist system can be classified as an active safety element because it prevents unwanted swerving or swerving in the opposite direction by intervening in the car's steering and directing it back.

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The history of Lane Assist in a nutshell

The first car company to develop a system similar to the Lane Assist system was the Mitsubishi car company in 1992. However, a similar system was deployed in cars only in 2001 by the Nissan car company.

In 2003, Honda introduced its lane-keeping system under the name LKAS. Unfortunately, all cars equipped with this system were intended only for the Japanese domestic market (JDM).

Later, in 2011, Honda deployed the LKAS system for the Accord model, which was intended for the European market. However, other car companies came up with similar systems, but even though it was the same system, they all named it differently.

How does Lane Assist work?

The Lane Assist system is only active at speeds above 65 km/h. The system is automatically deactivated if the vehicle speed falls below this limit. If the vehicle speed exceeds 65 km/h, the system is active and follows the horizontal traffic signs.

This system can recognize a solid and broken line, for which it uses a camera located in the rear-view mirror area. It should be noted that this system was designed primarily for use on highways and roads with clearly visible horizontal traffic markings.

The Lane Assist system has two modes that can be turned on and off independently.

Lane assist indicator
Lane assist indicator / © Martin Milo, All rights reserved.

1. Mode preventing the car from swerving from the lane

This mode of the Lane Assist system works in such a way that when the car approaches horizontal traffic markings (dashed or solid lines), the system automatically intervenes in the steering and adjusts the direction of travel by moving the steering wheel so that the car does not deviate from the lane.

The strength of the intervention in the steering can be adjusted, but the driver can always overcome the intervention in the steering. However, if the driver is about to swerve with the turn signal on, the Lane Assist system evaluates the driver's intention and does not react.

2. Mode of active driving of the car in the driving lane

If this mode is activated, the system automatically detects the horizontal markings on both sides of the vehicle. It can thus guide and maintain the car in the selected lane by interfering with the steering wheel.

As I have already mentioned, the driver can always overcome intervention in the steering and thus correct the car's direction. Therefore, the Lane Assist system is not responsible for driving the vehicle, and the entire burden remains on the driver.

If Lane Assist is active and the car driver does not have his hands on the steering wheel, the system evaluates it as if the driver is not driving, and after a few seconds, it triggers a warning signal and deactivates. This system, therefore, reduces the risk of unintentional lane departure.

The Lane Assist dependence on good conditions

The Lane Assist system may not always work, such as in fog, heavy rain, or snow, when passing a sharp curve or driving, and when the sun illuminates the road too much.

In addition, also in case of bad, low-quality horizontal markings and even if the system camera does not have a sufficient view of the road - for example, in the case when there is another vehicle in front of your car.

The driver of the vehicle is, therefore always responsible for driving the vehicle, even if it is equipped with the Lane Assist system.

Watch a short video demonstration of the Lane Assist function: