Pigwich
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:01 pm

How much confidence does the driver confidence package give you?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:29 am

I liked the sound of this package when I leased my car, going on a year and a half ago and about 17,000 miles.

    Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking
    Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
    Forward Collision Alert
    Following Distance Indicator
    Front Pedestrian Braking and Alert
    IntelliBeam headlamps

Thus far, I can't really say how great any of it has been. Some things are cool and useful, some could use some work. I'd love to hear what other people think. Here's my rundown.....

So far, I haven't had any experience with low speed automatic braking, which I'm thankful for. I have yet to try to drive in to a big cardboard box to see if it works, but if anybody else has tried it, I'd love to hear.

Lane keep Assist - Not really super great I have to say. By the time it complains or gives you a little nudge, you're already in the ditch as far as I can tell, and the nudge is pretty week. No way it's going to keep you off a guard rail, though I can say I've never tested it in that capacity.

Forward Collision Alert - This one I like. Mine has gone off about 4 times over the past 17,000 miles, and it's usually been a good thing, especially when I do a quick glance to change lanes and the person in front of me stomps on the brakes, or the surprise new stop sign on San Fernando. I DO wish it would look a bit more into the distance to see the guy a quarter mile in front of me that locks them up on the highway. At that distance, it's hard to judge, but a quick beep to say that "There's some BS goin on up ahead, get ready" would be awesome.

Following Distance Indicator - Cute, but without an audible indicator, it's probably useless. I get the feeling that it's linked to the forward collision alert, since accuracy goes down the toilet after about 100 feet or so.

Pedestrian Protection - It probably only detects a pedestrian 50% of the time, and 0% at night. It beeped at me once when I rolled up on a crosswalk, but nowhere near applying the brakes. Not sure if it detects shopping carts, but it ought to. Even so, if it cuts the number of serious injuries by half, it's a win. It has never once spotted a pedestrian that I haven't. I hope it stays that way.

IntelliBeam Headlights - They're pretty cool, and they do exactly what they say they should do when they should do it (switching between high and low beam). I like this. But the fact that I need to activate this feature every time I use it is annoying. It ought to be default. Other than that, this feature works very well. I don't do a lot of lonesome road night driving though, so I don't get to use it much.

On other topics, a year on, the rearview mirror camera screen thing is alright I guess. It's good because the glare from cars at night is virtually gone, and you can see if you pile the back full of stuff, (small cargo area makes this a common occurrence), and I guess the wide view is nice, but the lack of depth perception and the need to change focal distance is not something that can ever be overcome. On the other hand, the larger the vehicle becomes, the more the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and if you tint your windows, it's probably a huge win.

Blindspot warning seems to work well, but of course I always still look and I only trust it to tell me that I missed something, which I think is the "right" way to use it. On the other hand, I've never known it to give me a false "all clear"

What do other people think of the bells and whistles a year or more in? I know this is a little redundant, but I think it would be nice to have it all in one thread.

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1030
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: How much confidence does the driver confidence package give you?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:49 pm

My experiences have been different.

Lane Keep Assist - I've found that it works pretty well, when it can sense the lines. That's not always, though. The nudge is plenty strong to keep you in a straight lane. If you are going around a tight curve that you didn't anticipate correctly, I agree: you'll end up in the ditch. Sometimes LKA is too strong, like when I want to drift over the line. At lunch time, a lot of my coworkers go for a walk or jog on the surrounding roads. When it is clear, I will drift over the center line to give them space. LKA tries to nudge me back into my lane, which is into the pedestrian. The car rarely picks up the pedestrian, even if they are in my lane.

Following Distance Indicator - not well implemented. I like that the car turns yellow when you are "too close", but completely disagree with their assessment of "too close". In Defensive Driving, I learned to follow at least 2 seconds behind. The indicator turns yellow at 1 second. I really wish it was 2 seconds. By the time it turns yellow, I'm already uncomfortably close. If the driver in front of my slams on their brakes, I will not have time to react.

Pedestrian Protection - this has never seemed to detect pedestrians for me. It's so bad, that maybe something is actually broken on my car. Useless.

IntelliBeam Headlights - I cannot use these. It makes me look like a jerk. It turns down the brights way too late - I've already blinded the oncoming car. Then it turns them back on too soon, when the other car is clearly still there. Other times, when stopped at an intersection facing a reflective sign, the car will just keep flashing them on and off. It will see its reflection in the sign, and turn them off. But it can't see the reflection with the low beams, so it turns them back on. Lather/Rinse/Repeat. Always repeat. There are multiple intersections where this always happens.

Rearview Camera in the mirror - this is a God Send, when it works. The wide angle view completely eliminates blind spots. I can see cars in it, even when I see them in the side mirrors. I don't have any issue with the change in focal point, but I can understand why others might. The other caveat is that it is pretty useless for about 4 months of the year. When there is snow/slush/salt/etc on the road, it gets kicked up onto the lens very quickly. I would literally have to wash it every time I look in the mirror. Not worth it.

Blind Spot warning - this is more of a distraction than anything. If I'm thinking about changing lanes, I always look over my shoulder. Sometimes when the car is dirty, the light will always be on, or will flash on and off which is where it gets distracting.

Overall, most of these things feel like gimmicks, and poor substitutions for safe driving. It feels like GM is just experimenting with technology rather than working hard to implement a cohesive suite of safety features.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

boltage
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:50 am

Re: How much confidence does the driver confidence package give you?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:31 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:Following Distance Indicator - not well implemented. I like that the car turns yellow when you are "too close", but completely disagree with their assessment of "too close". In Defensive Driving, I learned to follow at least 2 seconds behind. The indicator turns yellow at 1 second. I really wish it was 2 seconds. By the time it turns yellow, I'm already uncomfortably close. If the driver in front of my slams on their brakes, I will not have time to react.


That following distance warning has three settings for "too close". Unfortunately, the settings range from 1 second to 0.5 second, not exactly what you want if you want to keep the larger distance recommended in driving school (or want to train your teenage new driver on that). Perhaps they are just catering to typical drivers, who seem to tailgate whenever possible, so even 0.5 second following distance is an improvement. :roll:

One of the possible displays on the bottom half of the main gauge is the detected following distance, which does go up to 2.5 seconds.

boltage
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:50 am

Re: How much confidence does the driver confidence package give you?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:43 pm

Regarding other driver assistance features:

* Forward collision warning: Had it come on four times, three of which were obviously true. Since I was already just about the brake or swerve to avoid crashing, the autobrake did not engage. The one false alarm did not result in the autobrake engaging.

* Blind spot monitoring: Appears to work properly, matching what I see in the mirrors (which I have adjusted like this: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/h ... lind-spots ). Not that useful for me, but probably helpful for those who adjust their mirrors the more common way that leaves large blind spots.

* Camera mirror: Effective during the day, but blurry at night with other vehicles' headlamps.

* Parking cameras and surround view: Effective and useful given the limitations on rear and rear quarter outward visibility. Surround view is helpful if desired to park close to the curb or edge, or just up to the boundary between legal parking and the red zone.

SeanNelson
Posts: 1295
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: How much confidence does the driver confidence package give you?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:17 am

GetOffYourGas wrote:Pedestrian Protection - this has never seemed to detect pedestrians for me. It's so bad, that maybe something is actually broken on my car.

I see the pedestrian lamp light up most of the time that there are pedestrians on the side of the road, and have had the HUD and beeper go off once when a pedestrian stepped out into my path. I've been pretty impressed how well it detects them, even under pretty dim lighting conditions. I don't expect it to detect everything, but it does seem to pick out most of them.

In fact, it usually even lights up when I pass these trucks that I see parked around the city:

Image

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