Tag Archives: safety

The Lincoln Lane Keeping System

The engineers at Lincoln have developed some very advanced automotive technology with one goal in mind: your safety. In this article we will look at the Lincoln Lane Keeping System which is a combination of three interacting technologies: the Driver Alert System, Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. Let’s take a look at all three and see how they work together.

Driver Alert System

This system is basically a “drowsiness detector” and senses if a driver drifts out of their lane when driving. The way it works is that a small forward-facing camera mounted behind the rearview mirror senses the position of lane marking on the road and looks for slow drift. If the system detects drift that fits the pattern of driver drowsiness, a small red coffee cup icon illuminates on the dash and a first-level chime will sound. This is a gentle indicator to alert the driver that it might be a good idea to pull over and take a break from driving. If the driver continues to drive and still seems fatigued, then another warming chime is issued. A life saver? According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 40 percent of Americans say they have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at some point.

Lincoln Lane Keeping System

Lane Keeping Alert

The Lane Keeping Alert is designed to help drivers avoid unintentional lane changes. When the system detects the vehicle drifting close to lane markings, it will alert the driver through a vibration in the steering wheel to naturally grab the driver’s attention. This vibration can be compared to the feeling that one feels when an automobile runs over highway “rumble strips”. This allows the driver time to react and steer the vehicle back into its lane. To calculate the lane position, the Lane Keeping Alert uses data from the front camera on the windshield in addition. A display in the dashboard instrument cluster lets the driver know when the system is operational as not all roads are well-marked and they system essentially pauses detection when this occurs.

Lane Keeping Aid

The Lincoln Lane Keeping Aid technology takes this previous two technologies even further by providing steering assist to alert the driver of the need to steer back toward the center of the lane. Essentially the car gives the driver an assist to steer back to where it should be. The system calculates the amount of steering required based on factors such as the distance to the lane markings, yaw angle and curve radius determined from the front camera and other sensors in the vehicle.

Lincoln Lane Keeping

Settings

The sensitivity of the three system settings can be adjusted between normal and increased, which moves the warning zones in closer to the center of the lane. The intensity of the steering wheel vibrations can be adjusted as well between low, medium and high. The last-known setting for each selection is stored so it does not have to be set each time the system is activated.

Care to try out the fascinating Lincoln Lane Keeping System? You can find a Lincoln Dealer in the Philadelphia area by clicking the link and elsewhere in the country by visiting the Lincoln factory website.

Winter Time Blues

[ad#Top of Post Left]I really hope everyone had a great holiday break, enjoyed eating too much, or whatever you tradition of choice requires of you.  Usually my holidays exist only to provide and receive gifts from others, followed by gorging at the kitchen table.  It’s an amazing time of the year, but when it’s over I’m left looking at all my cool stuff I get to use…when it warms up.  Which means lots of new garage and automobile toys, that will be put to better use when it breaks freezing again.

What else makes the winter time, right after the New Year, so dull for auto enthusiasts is that it’s hard to enjoy doing regular maintenance when you can’t feel your hands.  For example, my wife is due for an oil change, which is something I would normally do myself.  However, it’s just far too cold and too big a hassle for me to brave the elements, so I’ll be visiting the local speedy lube.

Because I’ll be going to the professionals I’ll also be able to skip out on some other winter time regular maintenance checkups.  For example, they will make sure the air pressure in my tires is set properly, plenty of tread to brave sudden snow storms, and top my fluid levels off.  Usually a full service oil change center will complete all of the above for a very reasonable price.  This low price becomes even more inviting when you realize all of this will be done while you are toasty in the waiting room.

So, once, maybe twice a year, I’ll leave the auto work to someone else.  Depending on how long of a winter we have headed our way, might have to stop in for another fast oil change.  Next post I’ll talk about must have items to keep in your vehicle for road trips or even grocery runs in the winter time.  Getting stuck on the side of the road in the middle of winter is no joke, so let’s plan like it.

Fall Driving, Watch For Deer

deer-whistleTis the season, deer season.  Fall is when hunters are allowed to go out and shoot deer, with either a bow or a gun.  Although the exact weapon season itself fluctuates throughout the fall, as soon as it gets chilly expect more deer movement.  More deer movement translates into deer and other animals being on our highways, where they would normally avoid.

There is one product on the market that claims to prevent automobile accidents with deer.  It’s a whistle, specifically a deer whistle that mounts to the front of your car.  The product claims to produce a noise that animals can hear, if the vehicle is traveling at least 35mph.  There are those out there that feel it’s just a hoax and the product itself does not help in preventing drivers from colliding with deer crossing the road.

These deer whistles claim that they produce an ultra sonic sound that stops deer in their tracks or alerts deer to your vehicle.  However, tests have been done that prove that the deer cannot hear the pitch produced by the whistle.  Furthermore, whistles that deer can hear do not always ‘stop them in their tracks’, which is hopefully off the side of the road.

The best way to prevent accidents with deer when driving this fall?  Be vigilant, pay close attention to the road, and never over drive your head lights.  Safety starts with the person behind the wheel, not some cheap plastic deer whistle stuck to the front bumper.

Is RainX Worth It?

This is a completely unsolicited post for one of the greatest automotive products ever made, RAINX.  The answer is YES, yes RainX is worth every penny.   As of late I’ve been appreciating this inexpensive, yet incredibly useful product a lot more.  In Southern Indiana we’ve been exposed to more rain this year than I can last remember and RainX has made seeing in the rain no problem.

RainX acts as a kind of wax for your windshield, which then assists with removing water.  When water comes into contact with your windshield it beads up and rolls right off.  Unlike untreated glass where the water does not bead and requires more assitance from windshield wiper blades to push the water off.

RainX Comparison

RainX Comparison

As you can tell from the comparison, inbetween wiper blade swipes visibility is greatly improved.  There is virtually no excuse for not at least trying RainX if you are living in a wet area, which during the Spring almost everywhere is.

Applying RainX to the windshield is also a snap.  Simply spray the product onto the windshield or soft clean cloth and evenly wipe the product over the glass in a circular motion.  Application is done much like you would wax your car, only waxing off is not needed. 😉

Difference Between HID and Halogen Lights

A simple upgrade that can increase safety and looks of a vehicle are projector head lights and in turn HID lights.  The difference between HID lights and Halogen lights is the way they burn, to light up.  An HID light will make an arc between two electrodes, while a Halogen light will heat up filament within a gas filled glass.  In most cases HID lighting is more efficient, brighter, and thus safer to use on vehicles to see better in the dark.

Projector Headlights

When buying projector headlights do not assume that you are getting HID lights.  Often times cheap projector head lights are made to use halogen bulbs, instead of the brighter, more intense HID.  The bulbs are generally not interchangable and require an actual kit to get HID lighting out of a traditional halogen bulb setup.  If HID bulbs are used, then melting of the lens and housing is possible.

Before buying projector headlights, for the HID upgrade, make sure that HID bulbs will work in the new headlights you are buying.

High End Vehicle Use

Generally just because headlights on a vehicle are bright, does not mean that they are HID.  High end vehicle manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, and Lexus are the only vehicles that have stock HID lighting.  Any other mas produced mid range vehicle will require a HID kit to replace the halogen stock head lamp assembly.

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This has been a post into a series of articles on explaining entry level questions to automotive enthusiasts.  There are greater details of differences that can be found on HID and Halogen lighting via Wikipedia.

Next What’s The Difference Article: Automatic Vs. Manual Performance

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