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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After posting a screenshot of my 2013 Volt yesterday, I discovered that many folks didn't know of the new screen & DIC widgets (Power Gauge, FCA, LDW, etc).

So after a brief discussion on the Forward Collision Alert system in that previous message, I wanted to show what it looks like and describe it in more detail. (see image)

First, if you look to the right of the top of the battery graphic, you'll see a little green car (above the 37 km reading). It's green when the radar senses another car ahead. When you're going 40 kph (25 mph) the following distance in seconds is displayed on the DIC widget, below the speed display. I call this "seconds to impact!" :D It can be anywhere from 2.0 secs down to 0.5 seconds. It may go lower, but I don't want to find out!

When your vehicle approaches the other vehicle too rapidly, the displays (small icon, as well as the DIC) turn red and beep. The system then prepares for a more rapid braking by the driver. You can set the warning distance to far, medium, near, or off.

 

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That's awesome! My 2013 doesn't have that, but I don't have any options other than leather :( still a pretty decked out car though. I just spent $500 adding a rear-view camera, when I could have just gotten the Safety Package 1 for $75 more, which allows the camera to be seen in the center stack, and has proximity sensors :(
 

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Thanks for taking the time to show how this works. However, color me unimpressed. In my previous cars you could just set the options and the car would automatically brake. I think Audi is coming out with technology where the car will drive itself at lower speeds in traffic.

The Forward Alert System is going to be a PITA in traffic because whenever someone cuts in front of you the DIC will be lighting up and the car will be beeping. Given how the Volt has such revolutionary technology this is one area where it's missing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The Forward Alert System is going to be a PITA in traffic because whenever someone cuts in front of you the DIC will be lighting up and the car will be beeping.
Not true. Just because if a car cuts in front of you, doesn't mean the FCA will beep. It'll warn you only if the distance is closing in fast. If you are both going at highway speeds and a car cuts in and brakes (or rapidly slows down) and you don't, we'll, I would want some indication that I could slam into that car. If the another car merges in front of you and you both maintain speed then it won't beep. In other words, the FCA is not solely based on distance, but distance deltas over time (albeit short and rapid intervals of time).

...color me unimpressed. In my previous cars you could just set the options and the car would automatically brake. I think Audi is coming out with technology where the car will drive itself at lower speeds in traffic.
IMHO, cars that drive and park themselves are considered "luxury" cars (at least by today's standards), and the Volt is far from that. I traded a Lexus for my Volt, so I knew that going in and I'm still very satisfied with my decision.
 

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First, if you look to the right of the top of the battery graphic, you'll see a little green car (above the 37 km reading). It's green when the radar senses another car ahead.
One small clarification here.... the system doesn't operate on "radar". Rather, there's a high-resolution camera mounted on the inside of the windshield to the right of the rear view mirror. This camera is used both for the Front Collision Avoidance and the Lane Departure Warning systems. This camera is within the area cleaned by the wipers so it theoretically will have a clear view of the road. I have noticed that in some really bad rain (no snow in South Florida... yet), both systems sometimes don't work well. Typically, though, I really like having both. The FCA system has falsed a bit, but one worthwhile warning will make all the false alarms worthwhile.

BTW, one really small nit I have with the display as shown in the OP's posting - this system is only available in the 2013 models (and up), so why does "my" car in the display obviously show a 2011/2012 model (note the black below the lights), and why is the car that I'm following also a Volt? We're getting more popular, but we're still few and far between... ;-)

I don't know if Safety Package 2 is really worth the money, but I enjoy having it and am glad I do.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to show how this works. However, color me unimpressed. In my previous cars you could just set the options and the car would automatically brake. I think Audi is coming out with technology where the car will drive itself at lower speeds in traffic.

The Forward Alert System is going to be a PITA in traffic because whenever someone cuts in front of you the DIC will be lighting up and the car will be beeping. Given how the Volt has such revolutionary technology this is one area where it's missing.
People have cut in front of me and the system didn't start beeping. The FCA system is smarter than what most people probably think, it's something I definitely don't regret getting. The FCA graphic on the display will also turn yellow if you're following too closely(which is obviously unsafe).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One small clarification here.... the system doesn't operate on "radar". Rather, there's a high-resolution camera mounted on the inside of the windshield to the right of the rear view mirror. This camera is used both for the Front Collision Avoidance and the Lane Departure Warning systems.
Yes, I misspoke. It does use camera/video technology.

BTW, one really small nit I have with the display as shown in the OP's posting - this system is only available in the 2013 models (and up), so why does "my" car in the display obviously show a 2011/2012 model (note the black below the lights), and why is the car that I'm following also a Volt?
Software is usually developed in concert with other efforts parallel to the evolution of the Volt. I would imagine that the FCA system was being developed before the software engineers even had a clue that the "marketing" folks would change the body color styles.

We're getting more popular, but we're still few and far between... ;-)
Out here in Southern California, I see them often. Just yesterday, on my way to the office, I passed one. I kept trying to get her attention, but she was oblivious to everything. :( Then, on my way home, I was getting on the freeway and another Volt was getting off of it.

I don't know if Safety Package 2 is really worth the money, but I enjoy having it and am glad I do.
Although ESP2 only contains three items, it is worth it, IMHO... Front Park Assist (FPA), FCA, & LDW. However, it does require ESP1 to be purchased, which includes Rear Park Assist, Rear Video Camera, & Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror. I'm a gadget guy, so having all these "gadgets" and having them contribute to my safety is quite a bonus!

This is cool, thanks for posting the image.
My pleasure! Does anyone have any other requests to see other 2013 features? ;)
 

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I've been wanting to experience the auto-disengage of cruise due to following distance, but have yet to be brave enough to let the system do it for me ;-). Glad to see that it works, though, and since I always drive in "L", I guess I'll plan for the same experience.
 

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I've been wanting to experience the auto-disengage of cruise due to following distance, but have yet to be brave enough to let the system do it for me ;-). Glad to see that it works, though, and since I always drive in "L", I guess I'll plan for the same experience.
It's probably a good thing I was in "L". The car beeped, disengaged the cruise control, and automatically braked for me.
I would have been right on the guys bumper if it wasn't for that. (Guy changed into my lane and braked.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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It's probably a good thing I was in "L". The car beeped, disengaged the cruise control, and automatically braked for me.
I would have been right on the guys bumper if it wasn't for that. (Guy changed into my lane and braked.)
I don't think the FCA did either of those. The FCA is a warning system only. The manual specifically says it doesn't apply the brakes. But it does prepare for you to quickly engage the brakes. The manual lists 3 ways to cancel the cruise control, and an FCA warning is not one of them.
 

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I don't think the FCA did either of those. The FCA is a warning system only. The manual specifically says it doesn't apply the brakes. But it does prepare for you to quickly engage the brakes. The manual lists 3 ways to cancel the cruise control, and an FCA warning is not one of them.
I should not have used the word braking.
I slowed down because I was in "L"

But it did disengage the cruise control.
 

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I wanted to add my observations on the FCA.

First off, the "car" icon on the dash is green when the following distance is greater than 0.7 seconds. Below this it shows as yellow, and if the system detects a hazard it flashes red and beeps at you. The LDW icon only has two states: Green and flashing yellow with beeps.

The FCA is rather adaptive. It seems to react almost instantly when the vehicle ahead brakes (some kind of brake light tracking) It also is pretty good at judging whether the vehicle ahead is in your lane (noticable on curved roads)

I'm also impressed with the LDW accuracy. There's a lot of highway work going on around Vancouver, so there are lots of places to test the system. There are some areas where there are multiple layers of new road markings on top of old markings that have been worn and partially erased. There are other places where lines haven't been painted yet and there's only small patches of reflective tape. The lane tracking camera seems to work reasonably well in both situations. I do however leave the LDW turned off most of the time.
 

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It kind of sucked going from all those features in my Prius with the Advanced Technology Package.

I know in the Prius it also used the radar on the front, and my Volt has radar on the front. (I always wondered why they didn't put it to more use.) Another thing is during rain it would pop up on the screen and say it wasn't working due to weather conditions.
 
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