Acura has surpassed the 100,000-unit mark in U.S. sales of vehicles equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. After the first two months of 2017, nearly half of all Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. this year have been equipped with AcuraWatch. Furthermore, Acura will advance the AcuraWatch suite of technologies with the introduction of Traffic Jam Assist technology on certain models later this year.
“We are working toward a zero-collision society, and this approach is resonating strongly with younger luxury customers who show increasing interest in safety technologies,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president & general manager of Acura. “Deploying active safety and driver-assistive technology broadly is one way we are taking care of our customers and differentiating Acura.”
AcuraWatch employs advanced “sensor fusion” technology, using the combined sensing capabilities of millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera to help maintain the vehicle’s position in traffic and to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision, representing a technological bridge to the automated driving technology of the future.
Recent research indicates that younger, Millennial buyers of Acura’s two top-selling models, RDX and MDX, put a greater emphasis on safety features, ranking it as their third most important purchase reason compared to older buyers that rank safety as less important. Supporting this finding, the RDX and MDX luxury sport-utility vehicles, both with AcuraWatch technology, are two of the top three luxury SUVs in the industry with under-35 buyers.*1
AcuraWatch was introduced to the Acura lineup in 2014 on the 2015 Acura TLX, and has steadily expanded to all core Acura models, helping Acura drivers more safely and conveniently negotiate traffic with advanced sensing and semi-automated braking, and steering assist capabilities. AcuraWatch is offered as standard equipment on all 2017 MDX and 2017 RLX models, and available on all 2017 Acura sedans and SUVs.
The AcuraWatch suite of technologies includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), commonly known in the industry as Automatic Emergency Braking; Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW); Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS); and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF).
At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Acura signaled its intent to apply AcuraWatch as standard equipment on all core models, and announced it will add Traffic Jam Assist as an available technology on certain models starting in 2017, providing increased driver assistance and convenience in stop-and-go highway driving. With Traffic Jam Assist, vehicles will be able to come to a complete stop and accelerate again with traffic without any driver input, as well as steer the vehicle within certain constraints. Traffic Jam Assist has sensors and the functionality of adaptive cruise control with low speed follow, and lane keeping assist, extended by adding electromechanical steering. The components of Traffic Jam Assist include a mid-range radar sensor, long-range radar sensor, multi-purpose camera and stereo video camera. Current AcuraWatch ACC technology provides for semi-automated braking to a stop, but requires driver input to resume speed.
*1Based on IHS Markit, U.S. Retail new vehicle registrations by volume for all models in Luxury SUV and CUV segments 2012CY – 2016CYTD through December.
Additional standard safety equipment on all models include Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure; Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control; Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags (some vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor as well); advanced front airbags; and front side airbags. All new Acura models also are equipped with a multi-angle rearview camera as standard equipment.