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Škoda Auto continually enhances the safety of its vehicles worldwide

posted on 19/07/2023
Škoda Auto continually enhances the safety of its vehicles worldwide

For Škoda Auto, safety on the road has always been a top priority. Drawing on a rich history of safety tests, the car manufacturer uses state-of-the-art testing facilities and technologies, including Volkswagen Group resources, to shape its future models. As a result, all new Škoda cars launched in Europe since 2008 have earned the highest five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests.

Škoda models traditionally among the safest in their categories
All new Škoda models launched since 2008 have achieved the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests, with the Fabia and Enyaq models labelled the safest in their class. Approximately 45% of the body of all current Škoda models is made of high-strength steel. For some time now, the Euro NCAP methodology criteria have not focused solely on the results of crash tests, even though these remain the basis of the evaluations; the inclusion and efficacy of assistance systems and additional active safety elements are increasingly factored into the final ratings. Škoda ensures maximum safety for all its models worldwide; the Škoda Kushaq and Škoda Slavia models, developed and built in India, are the only models ever to have earned the maximum five-star rating in the Global NCAP tests.

Testing ground in Úhelnice with a cutting-edge crash laboratory
In developing new vehicles, Škoda Auto has access to a wide range of high-tech facilities, such as the advanced crash test laboratory at the Úhelnice testing ground. This site offers comprehensive provisions for carrying out a wide range of tests and trials at the highest possible level. It also provides an array of different tracks for testing not only passive safety but also verifying the functionality of active safety elements in various driving conditions and situations. The quality of the Úhelnice polygon is confirmed by the ‘Crash Laboratory of the Year 2020’ award, presented to the testing site by the specialist publication Automotive Testing Technology International.

Škoda’s active safety systems anticipate dangerous situations
While passive safety elements aim to protect the crew as an accident unfolds, active safety features are designed to prevent dangerous situations that could lead to traffic incidents. All the models in Škoda’s current portfolio are based either on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform designed for ICE vehicles and plug-in hybrids or on the MEB platform designed for all-electric cars, including the Enyaq series. In both cases, the platforms represent the pinnacle of current technology that enables Škoda models to take advantage of the latest versions of various safety assistance systems to ensure the protection of the crew and surrounding road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The most crucial assistance systems come as standard in all current Škoda models, including electronic systems ensuring better traction (ASR, ESP, XDS) and shorter braking distances (ABS).

Driving Assistants: Easier and safer vehicle control
Škoda vehicles offer a host of driving assistants as part of the standard package or as optional features. These systems aid the driver in various driving situations, making the drive safer and smoother. The assistants fall into four categories: Driving Assistants, Parking Assistants, Safety Assistants, and Information Assistants.

Driving Assistants include Adaptive Cruise Control, which adjusts the set cruise control speed according to the current traffic situation. Then there is Travel Assist, a compilation of multiple driving assistants and features aimed at enhancing comfort and simplifying travel through lateral (Adaptive Lane Assist) and longitudinal (Predictive Cruise Control) vehicle guidance. Other driving assistants include Side Assist, which alerts the driver to any approaching object up to 70 meters behind the car and in the car’s blind spot, and Lane Assist, which uses a forward-facing camera on the windscreen to help keep the car in the lane. The adaptive version can also actively keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane.

To help with parking manoeuvres, Parking Assistants that incorporate state-of-the-art technologies are available for current Škoda vehicles. These systems can handle a wide range of situations with front and rear parking sensors that acoustically and visually relay information about obstacles and their distance from the car. Park Assist performs autonomous parallel parking and can also pull out from a row of parallel-parked vehicles and handle perpendicular parking both forwards and backwards. An extended feature of Park Assist is Trained Parking, which allows the automatic execution of a parking manoeuvre at a known location, such as up a driveway to a garage. Trailer Assist helps drivers handle challenging manoeuvres, such as reverse parking with a trailer. Additionally, Area View, which has four wide-angle cameras at its core, helps to significantly improve parking safety by providing a real-time view of the overall situation around the vehicle on the infotainment display, giving the driver a complete overview for executing the intended manoeuvre. Additionally, customers can look forward to the upcoming introduction of a Remote Parking assistance system, controlled via the Remote Parking App. This app will enable the vehicle to be moved forward and backward while the user conveniently controls it from outside the car.

Safety Assistants - the third category - aim to prevent dangerous situations and collisions. All current Škoda models come with Front Assist with Predictive Pedestrian and Cyclist Protection as standard. This constantly monitors the distance from the vehicle ahead and can recognise pedestrians, activating automatic braking in the event of an imminent collision. Škoda vehicles also feature Emergency Assist, which automatically stops the car if the driver stops actively driving, and Turn Assist, which monitors the traffic in the opposite direction at a junction when the driver is preparing to turn left (for left-hand drive vehicles). Operating at speeds from 2 to 15 km/h, this system can prevent an accident if the driver misjudges the situation. The Exit Warning system, part of the blind spot monitoring system, prevents serious collisions with another vehicle, cyclist, motorcyclist, scooter rider, or runner by visually and acoustically warning the driver and other passengers, when opening the doors of a longitudinally parked vehicle could cause an accident.

Information Assistants - the fourth category - support the driver by closely monitoring traffic information. In this respect, the Traffic Sign Recognition system plays an indispensable role in safety. Not only does it project traffic sign information into the driver’s field of view either on the instrument cluster or head-up display but it also provides this data to other systems, enhancing the utility of features like Predictive Cruise Control.

Passenger Protection: Taking a proactive approach for maximum safety
In situations where the vehicle detects an increased risk of an accident based on data from interconnected safety systems and sensors, it can proactively prepare passengers for a critical situation, significantly reducing the potential impact of an accident. In emergency braking, Škoda’s Crew Protect Assist system pre-tensions the seatbelts for the front passengers. In the event of imminent skidding or overturning, in addition to the pre-tensioning of front seatbelts, any open electric windows are partially closed to a gap of 55mm and the sunroof is closed. Alongside this, Škoda vehicles also activate the hazard warning lights. Emergency Assist further reduces the risk of an accident if the driver is incapacitated, for instance, due to a health problem, whereby the system takes control in the current lane, turns on the hazard lights, and brings the car to a complete stop.

Predictive Pedestrian and Cyclist Protection: Enhancing road safety for all road users
Škoda’s innovative Front Assist system incorporates Predictive Pedestrian and Cyclist Protection. Using advanced radar and multifunction camera technology, the system detects both transverse and longitudinal movements of pedestrians or cyclists in the vehicle’s path. The system is designed not only to recognise moving individuals but also people standing still. The emergency braking system now also responds to cyclists crossing the vehicle’s path. In such cases, a series of progressive warnings are given, and if the driver’s responses are deemed insufficient, emergency braking is engaged at vehicle speeds from 5 to 85 km/h. The system also keeps track of pedestrians and cyclists moving in the same direction, triggering the same warning and braking interventions as it would for the vehicles ahead.

Two recent developments include measures that improve the driver’s ability to detect pedestrians before the vehicle starts moving and when manoeuvring at low speed. This system aims to prevent accidents, especially involving children moving around a parked car who the driver is unaware of.

The future vehicle safety at Škoda
Škoda Auto is continually enhancing the functionality of its existing safety features while simultaneously developing new safety systems and elements. Future generations of the Kodiaq and Superb models will showcase these efforts, introducing completely new as well as improved assistance systems. For example, the new-generation Superb will offer an upgraded Driver Alert system. This can detect a drop in the driver’s concentration even more reliably and help to prevent accidents due to distraction or drowsiness. Škoda models will also incorporate improved versions of existing safety assistants, expanding and improving their functionality. For instance, Crossroad Assist borrows elements from the current Turn Assist.

The automotive industry has seen intensifying demands in recent years, all focused on a clear goal: achieving maximum road safety. A common trend seen across the automotive sector is the growing number of detection devices, assistants, and safety systems. Thanks to Škoda’s in-house development and emphasis on deploying cutting-edge technologies, the brand’s vehicles always offer customers the highest possible level of safety in their respective markets in line with all global and regional legislative requirements and regulations.

Though a relatively new area, cybersecurity is rapidly gaining importance and directly impacts car safety. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is therefore continuously introducing new regulatory packages, primarily focusing on safety and cybersecurity measures. These are generally regulations requiring manufacturers to implement already existing assistants into their vehicles, which until now have been optional. These measures directly influence the automotive industry and help to advance the development of both cars and assistance systems.

In addition to software protections, the UNECE regulations are progressively introducing new car enhancements to further increase the reliability of assistance systems. Yet, the relevant legislative standards often respond to the previous innovations by car manufacturers themselves, who integrate newly developed safety systems and assistants into their models to offer customers the highest possible level of active and passive safety. Subsequently, these elements are taken into account in safety tests and guidelines by independent organisations and ultimately become part of legislative amendments, such as the aforementioned UNECE regulations. Škoda Auto is prepared to swiftly respond to these emerging challenges in an appropriate manner, ensuring that its customers benefit from modern vehicles that meet the very highest safety standards.

*Article Source http://www.skodamedia.com/

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