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How do pre-collision systems work?

How do pre-collision systems work?

There are generally two kinds of safety systems in automobiles, passive and active. Pre-collision safety systems can not only save your life and the life of your passengers but also help to limit damage in the outcome of a collision. At Pfaff Autoworks, we see our fair share of vehicles come through our doors that have been badly damaged in a collision. In this blog, we take a look at how pre-collision systems work on higher-end vehicles. 

Passive Safety System 

A passive safety system is anything in a car or truck that, for the most part, sits idle and operates only when necessary. A good example of this is a common seat belt. Once a passenger buckles a seat belt, the belt won’t automatically lock into position until the car makes a sudden stop. Some might call airbag systems passive safety, too. However, you could argue that because they rely on impact sensors that determine the severity of an accident, and use that information to determine how quickly they inflate and how long they should stay inflated, airbags could fall into the active safety category. 

Active Safety System 

An active safety system is very different from a passive safety system, especially when you’re talking about pre-collision systems. Active systems operate based on signals and information gathered, and they typically either alert the driver to a dangerous situation or assist in important maneuvers like steering while braking. These systems actively seek out information in regards to the vehicle’s current state. Although early collision detection units used various technologies like infrared waves to detect objects, most pre-collision systems today work with the help of radar.

How do they work?

Pre-collision systems place small radar detectors up near the front of the car, usually within the grill, where they constantly send out quick bursts of high-frequency radar waves. These waves will bounce off the nearest objects and return to the sensor, where a separate unit connected to the sensor calculates how long it took for the signal to leave and bounce back. With this information, a PCS unit can determine another car’s position, distance, speed, and relative velocity almost immediately, and if any sudden changes in those factors could potentially cause a collision, the system can provide information or assist the driver in avoiding a potential accident.

If you are driving a car that has a pre-collision warning system then you are already ahead of the game when it comes to giving yourself the best chance of avoiding a collision. However, unexpected things do happen out there on the roadway, and if you have been in a collision and you are looking for certified collision repair for your high-end vehicle, then Pfaff Autoworks is the place for you. Check out our website to find some of the brands that fit under our certified collision repair jurisdiction. Click here to find our Pfaff Autoworks contact information.