In road-transport terminology, lane centering, also known as auto steer, is a mechanism designed to keep a car centered in the lane, relieving the driver of the task of steering. Lane centering is similar to lane departure warning, but rather than warn the driver, or bouncing the car away from the lane edge, it keeps the car centered in the lane. Together with adaptive cruise control (ACC) this feature may allow unassisted driving for some seconds. That is the meaning of Level 2 driverless, where two or more features work together to take over part of the driving.
Current lane centering systems rely on visible lane markings. They typically cannot decipher faded, missing, incorrect or overlapping lane markings. Markings covered in snow, or old lane markings left visible, can hinder the ability of the system. GM's Super Cruise only works on known freeways that have been previously mapped, it uses a combination of these maps and a precise GNSS position provided by Trimble's RTX GNSS correction service to determine if Super Cruise can be enabled or not.
Most vehicles require hands on the wheel, but GM super cruise monitors the driver's eyes to ensure human monitoring of the road, and thus allows hands-free driving.
The first commercially available lane centering systems were all based on off-the-shelf systems created by Mobileye, such as the Tesla Autopilot and Nissan Propilot, although Tesla has switched to an in-house system when Mobileye ended their partnership. A handful of companies like Bosch, Delphi, and Mobileye provide sensors, control units, and even algorithms to car makers, who then integrate and refine those systems. While not directly attributable to lane centering, crash rates on the Tesla Model S and Model X equipped with the Mobileye system were reduced by almost 40% while Tesla Autopilot was in use.
The lane detection system used by the lane departure warning system uses image processing techniques to detect lane lines from real-time camera images fed from cameras mounted on the automobile. Examples of image processing techniques used include the Hough transform, Canny edge detector, Gabor filter and deep learning. A basic flowchart of how a lane detection algorithm works to produce lane departure warning is shown in the figures.
2018 Mobileye EyeQ4Edit
Mobileye claims 11 automakers will incorporate their EyeQ4 chip that enables L2+ and L3 autonomous systems. This would collectively represent more than 50% of the auto industry. Level 2 automation is also known as "hands off": this system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). Level 3 is also known as "eyes off": the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie.
Average selling price for the EyeQ4 chip to auto makers is about $450 U.S. dollars.
Sample of level 2 automated carsEdit
Because all of these vehicles also have adaptive cruise control that can work in tandem with lane centering, this meets the SAE standard for level 2 automation. Adaptive cruise control and lane centering is often available in upper more expensive trim levels rather than just the base trim. An example of this is the Hyundai Kona EV, which has adaptive cruise control only available on the "ultimate" edition.
|Sample of vehicles||Branding for lane
|Daimler AG||Freightliner Cascadia big-rig||Lane Keep Assist|
|Ford||Edge Focus Explorer Lincoln Nautilus Lincoln Aviator||Lane centering|
|GM||CT6||Super Cruise||Only on approved freeways Uses eye tracking system, which does not require driver to hold steering wheel.|
|Honda||Insight Odyssey Pilot||Honda Sensing: Lane keeping Assist System||Between 45 mph and 90 mph|
|Acura MDX||AcuraWatch||Only at higher speeds|
|Hyundai||Palisade Kona EV Santa Fe Elantra||Lane Following Assist||Also called Lane Keeping Assist, available at 60 km/h or above.|
|Kia||Kia Niro EV Kia Telluride Stinger K900 Forte||Lane Following Assist||Speed 0 - 130 kph, 81 mph|
|Mazda||Lane Trace||Can be activated at speeds above 60 km/h|
|Mercedes||A-Class||Driver Assistance Package|
|Nissan||Leaf, Rogue Altima||Propilot Assist||Under 31 mph, ProPilot lane centering will work when tracking another car in the lane.|
|Subaru||2020 Subaru Legacy Outback||Touring Assist||Plans to bring as a standard feature to all cars except some sports cars|
|Tesla||Model S, X and 3||Autopilot, Autosteer||Works at all speeds other than at certain margins above posted speed limits.|
|Toyota||Corolla Rav4 Lexus ES||Lane Tracing Assist||Part of second generation Toyota Safety Sense|
|VW||Audi A8||2019 Traffic Jam Pilot||Level 3 Autonomy. Germany first. Not for U.S.A. in 2019. Top speed: 37.3 mph, 60 km/h|
|Audi A6 Porsche Taycan||Tour Assist||Top speed 155 mph|
|Volvo||XC40 XC60 XC90||Pilot Assist II|
Propilot assists with acceleration, steering and braking input under single lane highway driving conditions. Propilot keeps the car centered in the lane and will deactivate below 31 mph if not tracking a car in front of it. Adaptive cruise control handles stop-and-go traffic if stopped for less than 4 seconds and helps maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead. Propilot can follow curves. Propilot utilizes a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and an electronic control module. A Traffic Sign Recognition system provides drivers with the most recent speed limit information detected by a camera unit located on the windshield in front of the inside rearview mirror. The information from detected signs is displayed.
In a review from ExtremeTech, Propilot worked well in 1,000 miles of testing and only on some twisty sections did it require driver intervention. During Euro NCAP 2018 testing Propilot failed some tests as did all other systems tested. Consumer Reports indicates that ProPilot is especially helpful in stop and go traffic.
The Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) helps keep the vehicle centered in a lane, applying mild steering torque if the vehicle is deviating from the center of a detected lane with no turn-signal activation by the driver. Mild steering torque means the system will not work on tight turns. Additionally the system does not work at speeds below 45 mph. The Honda Sensing package also includes:
Evaluating Autonomy, IIHS examines driver assist featurersEdit
Quote from David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer:
We're not ready to say yet which company has the safest implementation of Level 2 driver assistance, but it's important to note that none of these vehicles is capable of driving safely on its own...
The report indicated that only the Tesla Model 3 stayed within the lane on all 18 trials.
Quote from the report:
The evidence for safety benefits of active lane-keeping systems isn't as pronounced as for ACC. Still, the potential to prevent crashes and save lives is large. IIHS research shows that preventing lane-departure crashes could save nearly 8,000 lives in a typical year...
Auto brake testEdit
Quote from the report:
One series involved driving at 31 mph toward a stationary vehicle target with ACC off and autobrake turned on to evaluate autobrake performance. Only the two Teslas hit the stationary target in this test.
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Provides steering input to help keep the vehicle in the middle of a detected lane
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