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A quarter of cars will lose blind spots by 2016

Posted: 23 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automotive? safety? blind spot? detection? BSD?

ABI Research forecasts that Blind Spot Detection (BSD) systems will be in a fourth of the cars produced by 2016, amounting to 20 million cars, or a worldwide market value of over $12 billion.

BSD first appeared in a Volvo vehicle in 2005. This year, the market analyst expects them to be installed in high-volume models including the 2012 Ford Focus and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

"Blind spot detection has struggled for recognition in its early days as a standalone application perhaps because it has been unfairly classified as a feature for less-competent drivers," says David Alexander, principal analyst, ABI Research. He adds, "But now the feature is becoming more popular because it's now better understood that the experienced driver can activate the turn signal to execute an extra check before changing lanes."

And the introduction of radar-based systems and additional functionality has made the BSD option more attractive. The emergence of cross traffic alert is probably the most significant event, because it offers the driver information about local traffic that is not available elsewhere.

"Another enhancement to the blind spot monitoring feature is lane change assist," says Larry Fisher, research director, ABI Research. "This feature uses the sensors to check for approaching vehicles up to 50m rearward as well as making sure there is no obstacle in the blind spot. An extra warning is given to the driver when the turn signal is activated and another vehicle is either already overtaking or approaching rapidly."

BSD can also be linked to lane-keeping systems that can provide steering or individual wheel braking to help the driver stay in lane. By bundling the two systems together as many manufacturers are starting to, drivers get machine vision to help them stay in lane and be safer when deciding to move out of the current lane.

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