Even 10 or 15 years ago, the standard of additional equipment and the expectations of drivers themselves looked completely different. Back in the days, motorized tourist were satisfied with working radio and spacious interior. Today, if the vehicle doesn’t have air-conditioning, electrically operated windows and on-board computer, nobody will even look at it. Distinct changes had also occurred in the field of active safety.
Vehicles manufactured nowadays have crumple zones, pyrotechnic seatbelts or airbags. Nonetheless, electronic driver assistance systems in difficult situations deserve the biggest attention. Thanks to them, in many cases we can avoid the accident.
In passenger cars, motorhomes and other vehicles devoted any electronic boosters, sudden braking often leads to an immediate blocking of wheels - as a consequence the vehicle may start to skid, losing maneuverability at the same time. A breakthrough solution is ABS system present for nearly three decades. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t shorten the braking distance. Its mission is to maximize the available traction on the road without blocking the wheels - as you know, the most effective braking is on the verge of slipping. Therefore, during the ABS working you can hear a characteristic knocking. When braking, the vehicle equipped with ABS can easily overcome the obstacles, without the fear that the car behaves uncontrollably. The heart of the system is the multitude of sensors, as well as a pump changing the pressure in the brake system, according to the current traction.
Almost without any exception, each new driving assistance system is based on the operation of the braking system. Especially when driving in bad road conditions a big problem for drivers are uncontrolled slides (understeer and oversteer), which very often ends with falling out of the road. ESP system (traction control), as well as ABS, is based on a variable braking force at individual wheels - fully independently. Traction control in many emergency situations can save a vehicle in dangerous situations. Sensors monitoring the behavior of the vehicle send a signal to the control computer as soon as they detect the slip of one wheel. As a result, particular wheels are braked immediately - which is more than enough for a car to get back/stay on his track. Traction control operation in many vehicles can be felt with a sharp (noticeable) jerk, slowing down.
Start-off assist, ASR
A large group of drivers have a hard time with starting off on a hill, and on slippery surfaces. Improper handling of the clutch and gas pedals end up with stifling the engine, start with a squeal of tires, or - even worse - the burning of the aforementioned clutch. Start-off assist holds the vehicle on a hill for a while after releasing the brake pedal, and at that time the driver can safely move without fear of rolling down. ASR prevents violent start-offs with wheel-spins - brakes drive wheels or chokes the engine.
In new models of cars electronic systems (ABS, ESP and ASR) are a mandatory equipment. Thanks to them, even an inexperienced driver can cope in difficult situations, without losing control of the vehicle.