VIDEO: Holden’s New VF Commodore Cramed with Technology

MyDrive | As well as being Australia’s most technologcally advanced new car, the VF Commodore is also one of the safest, thanks to its advanced electrical architecture.

The new electrical interface – GM Global A Serial Data Electrical Architecture – enabled Holden engineers launch a number of advanced driver assistance, safety and user features on an Australian-made car for the first time.

VF delivers more advanced-technology features than any vehicle in Australian automotive history – making it the most technologically advanced car ever created in Australia.

Holden Director of Electrical Engineering, Jo Markham, said the new architecture contributed to VF Commodore’s exceptional safety and security.

“When it comes to safety, Holden is committed to providing protection before, during and after a collision, but the best scenario is to avoid that collision in the first place. Much of the new technology we’ve added is designed to help drivers do just that – to prevent an accident from happening,” she said

“To make Commodore even easier to drive and manoeuvre, we’ve also made cutting-edge features like Auto Park Assist and a rear view camera standard across the range. It’s all about convenience, visibility and awareness.

“Some models feature rear radar alerts to warn about cross traffic when you’re reversing into a roadway, or to show you what’s in your blind spot, or forward cameras to warn if you start to stray out of your lane, or are in danger of a collision.

“And for easy walk-up, start-up convenience, it’s hard to beat a sensor system which lets you unlock and start the car without having to touch the key.”

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

Auto Park Assist

The cutting edge capabilities of Auto Park Assist make it one of the most advanced systems in VF Commodore’s formidable new armoury.

Like Holden’s new MyLink infotainment system, Auto Park Assist is included as standard  across the VF range so every buyer can appreciate the benefits of this efficient parking assistant.

Auto Park Assist takes the guesswork out of reversing into tight spots.  It’s a great tool for drivers who may be hesitant about trying to squeeze into a narrow slot or who are reluctant to attempt challenging parking manoeuvres on busy streets.
Using ultrasonic sensors, Auto Park Assist accurately detects viable parking spaces, determines approach angles and neatly parks the vehicle by taking over the steering.

The driver manages throttle, braking and transmission but effectively the vehicle steers itself into any suitable reverse parallel or reverse right angle (90-degree, or perpendicular) parking space.

Advanced parking mode is activated by pressing a control on the centre console, the ultrasonic sensing system then determines if a space is large enough.

It measures the depth and width of a possible parking space as the vehicle drives past (parking slot searching speed is up to 30 km/h).

With the space identified and the driver notified via an audible alert and on the Driver Information Display, Auto Park Assist  then handles all the steering inputs required to park the car, simply and safely.  The driver remains in control of the vehicle, applying the accelerator or brake and making gear changes in response to instructions displayed in the Driver Information Centre in the instrument cluster.

The 10-sensor system (six sensors on the front bumper and four on the rear) is facilitated by Commodore’s all-new Electric Power Steering system. It operates at speeds below 10 km/h and can be instantly de-activated if the driver takes over the steering or brakes to a stop.

The Holden Commodore is among the first GM vehicles in the world – and the first large GM car – to offer buyers the benefits of Auto Park Assist.

The successful application of this complex technology to a range of different body styles reflects great credit on the skills of the specialist Holden engineering teams responsible.

Holden VF Commodore 15

Colour Head-Up Display [HUD]

Head-Up Display projects important cluster information on the windscreen, allowing the driver to view it without looking away from the road.

The transparent, coloured display (Calais V and SS V Redline) features four screens, selectable by the driver, which show information including digital speedometer, tachometer, infotainment and turn by turn navigation.

“Head-Up Display is an underestimated technology,” said Ms Markham.

“We’re implementing a feature that has been present in military aircraft for many years, and it provides information to the driver in an intuitive manner.

“The safety advantages of this feature are tangible – it keeps the driver from glancing away from the road.  We generally find that once drivers have experienced the Head-Up Display, they won’t want to drive without it.”

Key information featured in Commodore’s HUD include:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Tachometer
  • Turn signal indicators
  • High beam indicator
  • Selected gear
  • Forward Collision Alert indicator
  • Turn by turn navigation display
  • Audio functions
  • Outside air temperature
  • Phone information
  • Vehicle messages
  • Lateral Acceleration
  • Up-shift lights

The HUD system uses a series of mirrors to display the information on a specific high-technology windscreen. The HUD-enabled windscreen incorporates wedge lamination to provide excellent optic focus for the delivery of clear, sharp images.

Drivers can adjust the brightness and location of the image, or turn it off via a switch located next to the headlamp control.

Head-Up Display is based on technology originally developed in the US for military fighter jets. It enabled pilots to view vital information with the head positioned ‘up’ and looking forward, instead of looking down at lower instrument readouts.

General Motors began using head-up displays in 1988 – the Australian designed Chevrolet Camaro, for example, is a benefactor – and remains a leader in the field.

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

Forward Collision Alert (FCA)

This advanced and all-new active safety system is standard on Calais V-Series and SS V-Series models and uses a digital camera to help drivers avoid front-end collisions.

Along with Lane Departure Warning, FCA is designed to help minimise the risk of collisions commonly caused by driver error, distraction and drowsiness.

The high-resolution digital camera is mounted on the windscreen ahead of the rear view mirror. It looks for vehicles ahead and uses the vehicle’s Head-Up Display (HUD) to warn drivers if they are approaching another vehicle too rapidly and a collision appears imminent.

If the HUD function is turned off, the collision warning system will override this setting.

“Digital image sensors are used in just about everything from cameras to mobile phones to computers and this has made them a more affordable alternative for use in vehicles,” Ms Markham said.

“Studies suggest that people can use changes in object size as they approach to estimate how long until they collide.

“Holden’s digital camera detection system works much like a human eye, using state-of-the-art image processing software to decide if the changes in the size of a vehicle ahead suggest a crash may be just a few seconds away.”
FCA operates at speeds above 40 km/h. The HUD shows green ‘vehicle ahead’ and amber ‘vehicle tailgating’ icons and a flashing red ‘forward collision alert’  icon, which is accompanied by warning chimes.

When the system predicts a crash threat, it anticipates hard braking by increasing hydraulic pressure in the brake lines. This helps to reduce response times and decrease stopping distances. It can be adjusted to near, medium and far timing settings using the system’s steering wheel-mounted control.

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

MyDrive | Holden VF Commodore

Lane Departure Warning 

The same digital camera used for forward collision alerts, mounted on the windscreen ahead of the rear view mirror, can also help combat driver error, distraction and drowsiness by providing lane departure warnings.

This practical active safety feature helps reduce the risk of collision from drivers straying over lane markings unintentionally or departing a lane without signalling first.

The system’s digital image processor looks for lane markings to provide lane departure alerts at speeds above 56 km/h.

A ‘lanes detected’ icon located in the cluster shines green when at least one lane marking is detected to indicate the system is tracking. It will not always track lines on both sides of the lane.  If the vehicle drifts out of the lane without turn signal indication, the Lane Departure Warning lamp switches to flashing amber and a warning tone will sound from the vehicle side affected.

A steering wheel angle sensor is designed to pick up a gradual rate of lane departure and will not react with a warning if the vehicle swerves quickly into an adjoining lane.

The Lane Departure System is activated by a control on the steering wheel. It may be deactivated by the driver, according to preference and circumstance.

Blind Spot Alert

This clever collision-avoidance technology operates via radar sensors located on both sides of the vehicle’s rear fascia.

The system’s first purpose is to caution drivers when a vehicle enters a specified ‘blind spot’ zone in an adjacent lane. The second imperative is to alert drivers to the danger if an attempt is made to change lanes.

The system ‘looks’ for other vehicles in both rear side blind spots and alerts the driver to their presence via cautionary illuminated amber icons in the left or right side external mirror, depending on which side the object is detected.

If the driver indicates to move into that blind zone, the visual alert on the affected side will flash.

Holden VF Commodore 16

Reverse Traffic Alert

This technology uses the same set of radar sensors that operate the Blind Spot Alert feature.  It warns the driver of vehicles approaching behind the vehicle when reversing out of a parking space (including angled parking) or a driveway.

Reverse Traffic Alert senses moving cross traffic – up to 25 metres away either side of the car – that may not be visible to the driver.

The driver is alerted via warning chimes from a speaker on the affected side of the vehicle and by a warning symbol and red directional arrow displayed on the centre stack rear vision camera screen .

Passive Entry and Push Button Start with Sensor Key (PEPS)

This super-convenient ‘keyless’ feature allows drivers to unlock, start and lock the car simply by carrying the sensor key with them.

On approach, integrated antennas in the vehicle body identify a radio pulse generated by the key fob.  When the button on the door handle is pressed, the door will automatically unlock to allow access.

When the ignition button (located to the left of the instrument cluster) is pushed, the driver’s key is authenticated. The vehicle immobiliser and electronic steering column lock are automatically released so that the engine can start.

When the driver leaves the vehicle with the sensor key and walks away, the vehicle will lock after eight seconds. If the driver presses the button on the door handle after exiting the vehicle, the vehicle will lock immediately. The system also electronically locks the steering column.

All PEPS-equipped vehicles have an override system – a key insertion point located inside the centre console – in the rare event that a problem with the sensor key signal may occur. An alert will ‘chirp’ if the driver has closed a door with the key left in the vehicle.

Holden VF Commodore 5

Smart Remote Start System

A remote vehicle start feature is available on all VF models with automatic transmission.
It seamlessly integrates with anti-theft and passive entry systems.

Smart Remote Start operates via key fob activation from as far away as 100 metres.
It not only starts the vehicle but also activates the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, which will operate at the ‘last known’ fan and temperature setting.

Remote Start is also able to activate the heated front seats.

Rear Seat Belt Reminder

VF Commodore sedans and Sportwagons are equipped with a rear seat belt indicator feature that notifies the driver, via the Driver Information Display in the instrument cluster, about the status of the rear seat belts.

Particularly useful as a ‘child minding’ safety back-up feature, the system allows the driver to check that rear seat occupants are buckled in before departure.  It will also alert the driver if a belt is unbuckled in transit. The system operates via belt buckle switches which register rear seat occupants. Once a seat belt is buckled, the corresponding seat belt reminder indicator will illuminate in green on vehicles with colour graphics, or in monochrome.

If a rear seat occupant unbuckles the seat belt during the same ignition cycle, the rear seat belt reminder chime will sound and the rear seat belt indicator will illuminate red [or monochrome] in full screen mode.

The rear seat belt reminder will remain illuminated until the belt is re-buckled or the ignition is turned off.

Power Heated Seats

Eight-way powered and heated driver and front passenger seats are standard on Calais V. Front heated seats offer three comfort levels: low, medium and high.

The system is designed for quick warm-up and uses an electronically controlled heat pad integrated into the seat cushion and back. Heated seats are actuated via a control located on the centre console and the selected setting is identified in the colour touch-screen display.

For optimal comfort and support, the seat can be adjusted via independent front and rear tilt, seat fore and aft position and seat back tilt.

The power seats also feature a memory feature that can save and recall three settings for the driver seat and exterior mirror positions. The vehicle will automatically save these positions to the current driver’s remote keyless entry transmitter/key fob. When the unlock action is commanded, the powered seat and both exterior mirrors will manoeuvre to previously stored positions as required.

The memory buttons located on the driver door above the armrest can also be used to manually save and recall memory settings for the same functions.

Holden VF Commodore 10

Reverse Tilt Exterior Mirrors

When reverse gear is selected, the exterior passenger rear view mirror will tilt down automatically to give the driver a better view of the kerb when parking and show any obstructions.  After shifting back into park or drive, the mirrors return to the previously adjusted position.

Exterior mirrors are also heated, to provide optimal clarity in cold conditions.

Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)

Apart from their obvious good looks, Commodore’s LED Daytime Running Lamps are designed to improve road safety by making the vehicle more conspicuous to other vehicles and to pedestrians.

Daytime Running Lamps, on all models other than Evoke, function when Auto lighting is selected during daytime ambient light and illuminate when engine is turned on. It’s estimated that up to 45 per cent of all accidents occur because of perception and recognition errors such as misjudging another vehicle’s speed or not seeing the other vehicle soon enough.

Over the years, studies in several countries [United States, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland] have shown that measures such as Daytime Running Lamps can significantly reduce daytime collision incidence.

Reversing Camera

Standard across the VF range, the rear view camera is a practical aid for reversing in tight spots and a great preventative safety feature. When the driver selects reverse gear, colour video of objects in the area directly behind the car is displayed on the large colour touch-screen in the centre console. The rear vision camera overrides all other screen displays until transmission is moved out of reverse.

Front and Rear Ultrasonic Park Assist

Specified on every VF model including the Holden Ute, this popular parking aid uses eight sensors integrated into front and rear fascias which sequentially send out ultrasonic waves when the vehicle is driven at low speeds.

When an object is detected, warning chimes sound, varying in intensity according to its proximity.  A symbol indicating the position of the object is also displayed in the colour touch screen on the top of the reversing camera image.

For further information on Holden Australia, click > www.holden.com.au

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