2016 Honda Civic Sedan

2016 Honda Civic Sedan

Honda has just released its 10th-generation Honda Civic in the US, with detailed specifications of the car inside and out. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the Civic’s active and passive safety features.

The latest Civic will feature the full suite of Honda Sensing active safety suite. This isn’t particularly new, especially in other markets where other Honda models have been equipped with similar safety tech. However, this is the first time the Honda Civic will benefit from the full scope of the systems. In the US, all variants of the 10th-gen Civic have been confirmed to feature this as standard, from the base model upwards.

If you haven’t been clued in yet, a total of six features reside under the Honda Sensing suite of safety technologies. These are: Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), now tied in with a Honda first, Low Speed Follow (LSF) function. Here’s a brief recap of the six features for the Civic:

Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS): A millimetre wave radar located behind the front grille and a monocular camera positioned between the rear-view mirror and the windscreen effectively form forward-facing “eyes” for the new Honda Civic, scanning traffic conditions and looking out for potential accidents. The system can also tell the difference between a vehicle and a pedestrian, which in turn prompts unique warnings for each approaching object.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW): Once the CMBS determines that a collision is about to occur, it is on to the Forward Collision Warning system to create visual and audible alerts to prompt a driver to react to the situation. A visual alert appears on the Multi-Information Display screen, while alert tones are sounded out accordingly. Should a driver still fail to react to the impending collision, the CMBS system can apply the brakes autonomously (in varying levels of brake pressure) to reduce the vehicle’s speed in an attempt to prevent a collision.

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS): Using a camera to “read” lane markings, the LKAS system works together with the Electric Power Steering system to actively keep the Honda Civic in its intended lane. It watches the lane markings, and actively adds corrective steering torque to maintain its position. This system uses a monocular camera positioned between the windshield and rear-view mirror, and is advanced enough to identify painted lanes, cat-eye markers and Botts’ dots while travelling at speeds between 72 km/h and 144 km/h.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW): Just before the LKAS systems kicks in to actively steer you back into your lane, the LDW system will sound out multiple warnings (visual and audible) to prevent you from steering off lane. A Lane Departure message will light up on the Multi-Information Display screen on the instrument panel, and there will be audio queues to prompt a driver’s reaction. Should these fail to alert the driver, LKAS kicks in with its corrective steering torque.

Road Departure Warning (RDW): Working similarly to the LDW system above, RDW uses the same monocular camera, and can employ active steering input via the Electronic Power Steering system to keep drivers in their intended lanes. This system, however, focusses more on preventing drivers from unintentionally leaving a road altogether. Beyond adding corrective steering torque, the more “aggressive” RDW system is also capable of depressing the brakes (via the Vehicle Stability Assist), to provide moderate braking in an attempt to slow down the car.

Active Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow (ACC with LSF): This is a first not just for the Civic, but for Honda itself. The Japanese car maker has now updated its ACC system to continue functioning even in start-and-stop traffic situations via the new LSF function. This is only available for variants of the car equipped with a CVT transmission, though. Combining the use of a millimetre wave radar and a monocular camera, the Civic is capable of maintaining a desired speed and distance relative to the vehicle ahead, fully autonomously. Yes, you can now drive through traffic without the use of your feet, for the most part.

On top of the above-mentioned Honda Sensing suite of technologies, Honda has also introduced more of its new tech to the Civic nameplate which it hasn’t before, such as Seatbelts with Crash Locking Tongue, Lower Anchors and Tethres for Children (LATCH) and the Indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TMPS).

The Seatbelts with Crash Locking Tongue feature a latch plate design that can lock on to the webbing of the belt in anticipation and the event of a crash, optimising its hold on an occupant. When driving normally, the seatbelt webbing is allowed to move freely within the latch plate, but when an impending collision is detected, forces exerted on a passenger’s lap and shoulder areas of the seatbelt force it against the reactive surface of the latch, causing it to lock on to the webbing of the seatbelt.

The Indirect Tyre Pressure Monitoring System’s function is similar to a conventional tyre pressure monitoring system, but rather than using a traditional wheel sensor to detect drops in tyre pressures, Honda’s latest solution uses wheel-speed data collected by the four-channel ABS system to determine any drops in tyre air pressure. This method allows the car maker to effectively keep the Civic’s weight down.

Another first for the Civic is the LATCH child seat-mounting system. Available for all variants of the Civic, you’ll find the new, dedicated LATCH lower attachment points available for both ends of the rear seat bench. The middle position gets tether anchors, nonetheless.

The LATCH system effectively provides two lower anchor points and an upper tether anchor for each seat it is available for, and when used with the a compatible child seat, there is no need to rely on the vehicle’s seat belts for restraints, given the additional attachment points between the child seat and the vehicle seat.

The Front Passenger Safety Vent Airbag is yet another debut item from Honda which will make its way into the new Honda Civic. Making it safer for passengers who sit out of position, by “leaning forward in the pathway of an airbag deployment,” as Honda describes for example, auxiliary vents in the system remain open to redirect a significant amount of gas used to inflate the airbags away from occupants who may not be seated properly.

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This helps to reduce the potential injury of a fully-deployed airbag impacting unsuspecting occupants. When the passenger is seated correctly, however, the auxiliary vents close, allowing the fully inflated airbags to provide the maximum protection they were designed for.

The driver’s front airbag in the Civic also features a new spiral stitching design. Honda says that the “spiral nature of the airbag promotes early restraint and maintains a constant pressure by reducing volume early, and maximising volume later in deployment.”

Of course, these aren’t the only new safety features limited to the 10th-gen Honda Civic, but are highlights of the newest introductions brought forward by the Japanese car maker for the US market Civic. Other features for the new car include a next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure with new crash stroke design, a hot-stamped ultra-high-strength steel door rings and sills, a familiar Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Honda LaneWatch and more.

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Pedestrian injury mitigation was also high on Honda’s list of priorities for the Civic. For example, the hood design of the car is engineered to easily deform upon impact with a pedestrian, with a sufficient gap created between the hood and the harder bits of the engine. The hinges for the hood are likewise designed to deform on impact, while the fender mounts and supports are also energy-absorbing types.

Collectively, Honda believes that its Civic should successfully qualify for a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Keep in mind however, that these are only projected/predicted results, based on internal tests by Honda.