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Collision Warning and Mitigation Systems
Time: 2017-03-29
Collision warning and mitigation systems detect potential collisions with slow moving or stationary objects in the car's path and either warn the driver or automatically take evasive action.
The collision warning and mitigation system uses laser, radar or optical cameras in the car's nose to detect objects in the vehicle's path and determine their speed. Based on the closing speed (the difference in speed between the car and the object ahead), the system can determine if a collision is likely. Different types of systems take different types of action. Collision warning systems will alert the driver by either sounding an alarm, flashing a light on the instrument panel, vibrating the seat, or some combination of all three.
Collision mitigation or avoidance systems combine warnings with some sort of action, usually applying the brakes. Some systems provide steering assistance or prompts. These systems can often bring the car to a full stop at low speeds; they cannot stop at higher speeds, but by reducing speed they can lessen the severity of the crash. Moreover, both warning and mitigation systems can prepare the car for a vehicle for a collision (or its avoidance) by closing the windows, tightening the seat belts, or moving the seats into a position for optimum airbag protection. Most systems also pre-charge the brakes, so that the driver gets maximum braking as soon as he or she touches the pedal.
Black glossy panels on the grille hide the Chevy Impala's collision-detection hardware. 
Collision warning and mitigation systems usually keep quiet until they are needed, though some are more sensitive than others -- following a car ahead too closely, for example, may generate a warning, but no action. In the case of systems that pre-charge the brakes, applying the brake during a warning will result in rapid deceleration. In the case of an impending low-speed collision, the car will automatically cut the throttle and apply the brakes, bringing the car to a quick stop.
Does every car offer collision warning and mitigation systems? As with many high-tech features, these systems were first offered on high-end luxury vehicles, and are now trickling down to the mainstream. They are often packaged with other safety systems such as blind-spot warning systems.
While collision warning systems are usually a stand-alone option, collision mitigation and avoidance systems are often paired with adaptive cruise control, since the two systems employ similar technology.
Source: cars.about.com