Opel is showcasing a new prototype automatic collision avoidance system, using an Opel Insignia as a mule. Part of the German-funded UR:BAN research project, the technology utilises advanced camera and radar systems, as well as modified steering and braking to detect and avoid obstacles in city driving.

When a vehicle approaches an obstacle that suddenly appears – such as cars emerging unexpectedly from parking lots, or children unseen behind parked cars suddenly dashing into the road – it will warn the driver and, if they cannot react in time, take brief control automatically and make an evasive action using the steering and brakes.

Other technologies Opel is currently working on for the project include the studying of driver behaviour, using vehicle data, a front-facing camera and a head-tracking camera to analyse and predict what the driver will do next, such as performing a lane change.

This will enable driver assistance systems such as blind spot monitoring to more accurately and effectively alert the driver and avoid unnecessary warnings and driver irritation, which Opel says will help to broaden public acceptance of active safety systems in the future.

Additionally, Opel is also developing a new system that receives information from traffic management infrastructure and other vehicles through WiFi to advise drivers – through displays in the instrument cluster and in the centre console – on how to cross intersections smoothly, safely and without wasting fuel, preferably without stopping.