Driver assistance tech on new cars

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  • #137127 Reply

    My current lease is almost finished and I am researching cars for the next one. I am keen on VW group offerings as I have had these for the last 2 leases without problems. One thing that concerns me is the new “driving assist” which is included on many models.

    Apparently, if this detects no input to the steering you will get a series of vibration and audible warnings before the car eventually stops itself. One review seems to suggest that movement of the steering wheel cancels this. However, another review seems to imply that both hands must be on the steering wheel to cancel.

    This is where I have a problem as I used a steering aid so no hands are on the wheel at any time while driving ! Can anybody advise on this point ?

    (Sorry for the length of the post, couldn’t think of a shorter explanation) Thanks in advance.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #137166 Reply
    Clipped wings


    usually you can switch things off in the settings menus. I,m getting a new VW next week and it has some new to me features such as lane assist. Will study the manual and attempt to understand their parameters. Good luck.

    #137272 Reply

    Cheers CW,

    Thanks for your reply. I’m hoping it’s possible to disable these functions but I believe they reset when engine is switched off. Seems to be a bit of a faff having to disable each time you restart (especially if they’re buried away in sub menus on the touch screen !)

    I agree lane keeping assist is a recipe for disaster with the amount of pot holes currently on our roads !


    #137280 Reply
    Mike 700

    I think that you may be combining two different systems , but I haven’t looked it up – it will tell you on the VW website, forgive me if I have misunderstood?

    I have lane keeping assist on my Tiguan, which ‘helps’ to keep the car within the lane, but is not a hands free system , and if there is only light pressure , or no pressure on the steering wheel, for a about 13 seconds, it will tell you to put your hands back on and take over the steering again – it is not a hands free system .

    It certainly helps with lane keeping, but is not a replacement for your steering input.

    The other system , detects if you have fallen asleep etc and keeps the vehicle in the lane bringing it safely to a stop – this was a factory fitted extra for about £400 i think, in 2018 .


    VW Tiguan SEL in Silver White.

    #137299 Reply
    Glos Guy

    Shugster – no need to worry. Mike 700 has explained the systems. You don’t need to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. As long as you have one hand on the wheel (or your steering ball) it will detect your input. It works on movement of the wheel, not detection of whether your hand is on it, if that makes sense. Mine sounds a chime occasionally on the motorway but a minimal tweak of the wheel reassures the car that you are awake. I was bought to an emergency stop by the car a few times (in error) but that was a fault on the front collision warning system. Very scary and (hopefully) now fixed, although even on the least sensitive setting it’s still a bit over reactive (beeps, but no more).

    #137334 Reply

    I seriously hope that ALL autonomous systems will have a big off-switch. Said systems make mistakes: had a GPS telling me to go wrong way into one-way street; Mini tyre-pressure monitor got spurious reading because of low temperatures, refused to listen to my reset and tried to call International Rescue to send Thunderbird 2 to me. These functions are relatively minor and risk is low (although if the one-way-street issue had been on a dark rainy night with bad visibility it might not have been).

    If a system can slam on brakes at 70mph on a busy motorway, well, do I need to go on..? Big off switches, please (not touch-screen!)

    #137349 Reply

    My Tarraco has a number of semi autonomous systems, all of which can be turned off from the steering wheel. They work within specific criteria and as such default to the “on” position each time the engine is started. So far (3 months) they have all worked as advertised and have not created any issues, with one exception, which was caused by snow on the front sensor, which I believe is mounted in the wrong place. The electronics informed my by message and warning lights that certain systems where inoperative.

    GPS systems always carry a health warning, it is up to the driver to determine the instructions given are lawful  and safe and maps are up to date. Every car I have ever owned, that has had either a built in GPS, or a standalone unit occasionally makes mistakes so I don’t ever rely on it completely.

    In the same way I don’t rely on driver assist, but I do use it. Lane assist has its uses, but I turn it off in bad weather. It does not stop me from steering the car, it warns me gently that I may be moving out of lane. It only works  over about 35 mph, and cancels immediately if the indicators are used when changing lanes, which is good disciple anyway. It has never, so far, tried to take over.

    Adaptive Cruise Control is brilliant, it stops me tailgating, reacts to the speed of the car in front and I use it extensively, it will even bring the car to a halt when joining a traffic queue, but it is always under my supervision.

    I think the name, Driver Assist, says it all, it is there as an assistant, it helps me so I support it. However it is, and always should be, used under my supervision, so I welcome it and would like to see more of it generally available.


    SEAT Tarraco 2.0TSi 190 4Drive Excellence with Pano Roof and leather seats!

    #137353 Reply
    Glos Guy

    On balance, I think these systems are pretty good, but they aren’t without issues. To take Adaptive Cruise Control as an example. With regular cruise control, if I was on a motorway and closing in on a vehicle I would simply indicate and overtake it. With ACC I set it at a certain speed (usually 79mph on a motorway as that wouldn’t result in a ticket 😂) and then I glance down and realise that my speed has dropped gradually by 10mph or more due to a car in front that I needn’t have slowed for and then I have to pick up speed manually to pass it (as the speed pick up with ACC can be too slow to pull out safely without annoying other road users). Like c2clo I have lost the use of ACC and forward assist a few times due to snow obscuring the camera.

    The worst example I had of new systems being dangerous was the forward assist (emergency braking) which developed a mind of its own. Once on a sunny day on the M4, it slammed the breaks on as I passed under the shadow of a bridge. The brakes released after a second but was scary. The worst time was on an A road when it was lashing rain and wind. All of a sudden, and without warning, the car braked sharply, seat belts reacted by pulling down etc. Again, the brakes released after a second or two, so I didn’t come to a halt, but until 60 seconds before there was an idiot white van man behind me who was tailgating me inches from my rear bumper. Had it happened a minute or so earlier we would have had a nasty accident. I had to keep remembering to manually switch off the system every time I started the car until I could get it in to the dealers and I covered myself by calling Motability to report that the car wasn’t safe.

    On the other hand, when they work properly these systems can save lives. Sadly, the standard of driving that you see nowadays is shocking and people’s reactions slow as they age, so on balance I welcome them, but would just like them to be more reliable.

    #137402 Reply

    Many thanks for all the replies folks, it’s great to hear people’s thoughts and experiences regarding these systems. Thanks especially to Glos Guy for your first comment, this “driver assistance” was the one which concerned me most. It’s good to know to that movement of the steering wheel will keep the system happy and continue to move forward.

    Like many other organisations I think car manufacturers have forgotten the needs and restrictions of some drivers. Due to my disability I use a remote controller set in a lollipop grip. Personally I believe this is the greatest thing ever invented as without it I wouldn’t be able to drive. The worry is that future technology systems override common sense and safe driving !

    The comments regarding the overall standard of driving today are very valid, God only knows how some of these people passed the test (or did they?) We live in a new town with many roundabouts (East Kilbride) and some of the things you see lead me to believe some people believe the lines on the road are there for decoration and their indicator lights are some kind of Christmas decoration !

    Guess that’s a subject for another time ! Just discovered this forum the other week – think it’s fantastic and full of helpful and useful information. Keep up the good work folks !!!

    #137405 Reply

    i am in the tharg camp, big off switch please. all around our estate we have light barked trees that have huge maple shaped leaves the size of dinner plates and this autumn the car has braked several times because leaves have fallen off trees in front of it. and the same stupid woman whining about tyre pressure in the cold.

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