28 June 2021
28 June 2021, Comments Comments Off on New active and passive safety features make fifth-generation Volkswagen Caddy safer and easier to drive
New active and passive safety features make fifth-generation Volkswagen Caddy safer and easier to drive

The fifth generation of the Caddy has new and enhanced innovations and safety features with ‘assistants’ to make driving much safer and easier, and to help the driver both actively and passively: assisted driving on long journeys, help with ‘blind spots’, reversing and parking, all the way to manoeuvring a trailer.

These new and enhanced innovations for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Caddy make the city van and family MPV even safer with a total of up to 19 available driver assist systems. Five assist systems on board are completely new for the fifth-generation Caddy and all others have been further improved.

With the latest evolution of the MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix), numerous new technologies are now available fore Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Caddy range: such as Travel Assist and the new Turn-off Assist.

The new Travel Assist, which, for the first time in a Volkswagen commercial vehicle, facilitates assisted driving across the full speed range, is an interesting innovation in a commercial vehicle. The aim is automated vehicle control at what is called ‘Level 2’ – and indeed across the full driving speed range of 0 to 210 km/h. That means monitoring of the driving situation and the assisted longitudinal and transverse control of the vehicle with optimised surroundings visualisation and steering performance. In conjunction with Emergency Assist, the system initiates automatic braking to a halt in case of any driver inactivity.

To enable this the system accesses multiple functions, including the ACC Adaptive Cruise Control for linear guidance and the Lane Assist lane-keeping system for lateral guidance.

To keep the driver better informed, a new indicator has been developed in the Digital Cockpit, which provides advanced information on the vehicle’s surroundings as a virtual image. It shows, for instance, the number of available lanes, the vehicle or vehicles in front of or alongside the driver’s own vehicle and the respective distances.

In connection with Travel Assist the Caddy’s redesigned multifunction steering wheel is equipped with capacitive sensors. The background to this is that for legal and safety reasons the driver should permanently monitor the system, for instance, by having permanent control of the steering wheel. The wheel’s new capacitive sensors now ensure precise detection of even a lightly touching hand, thus avoiding any false alarms. In other words, for as long as the hands are touching the steering wheel, the system now no longer generates any prompts to steer.

It’s sufficient just to touch the steering wheel. However, if the driver lets go of the wheel for longer than ten seconds, visual and audible warning signals draw their attention to this. The driver must now react without delay and take hold of the steering wheel, otherwise Emergency Assist is activated and the Caddy is automatically brought to a stop.

Everyone using the new Caddy as a towing vehicle will also welcome the Trailer Assist function, which makes manoeuvring backwards with a trailer child’s play. It is now available for the first time in the city delivery vans’ A segment. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles customers are already familiar with this trailer assist function from the Crafter, where it was first used. There and in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Transporter 6.1 it already makes parking and reversing trailers easier.

Trailer Assist relieves the Caddy driver of the task of mentally adjusting to the fact that when reversing with a trailer the steering wheel has to be turned to the left to make the trailer go to the right – and vice versa. The system is also designed to make it easier to reverse in an exactly straight line over relatively long distances (e.g. long driveways). With Trailer Assist this all works almost automatically.

The driving direction of the car-trailer combination is set by automatic control of the electromechanical power steering, also a highlight of the Caddy. Compared to the previous model, the steering ratio is much more direct. As a result, the required steering angle when manoeuvring, in city traffic and on country roads is noticeably reduced. It now takes just 2.5 rather than the previous three turns of the steering wheel to turn it from its maximum left to its maximum right stop. The turning circle itself is just 11.4 m in the case of the 4.5 m Caddy with short wheelbase and 12.1 m in the case of 35.3 cm longer Caddy Maxi.

Also new: the ‘Turn-off Assist’ as a component of Front Assist (comes as standard on the passenger car Caddy in the EU). The Turn-off Assist can help to avoid accidents when a driver is turning off across the opposing carriageway. When turning off in this way, a Caddy with Turn-off Assist is automatically brought to a stop (with a simultaneous visual and audible warning) if there is a vehicle approaching on carriageway to be crossed. Depending on the speed of the two vehicles, Turn-off Assist is able within its system limits to prevent the accident or minimise its consequences.

Example – Side Assist: the objective here is to inform the Caddy driver of any vehicles overtaking in the adjacent lane. The aim is also to prevent any potential collision when changing lane. The system monitors the traffic situation to the rear and issues a warning to the driver in the event of any vehicle getting close in the adjacent lane, especially in the ‘blind spot’. In critical lane changing situations, the system – in conjunction with Travel Assist – initiates a steering wheel vibration and corrective steering intervention.

Side Assist also enhances the driver’s awareness of the vehicle’s surroundings in driving situations on multi-lane roads. The rear radar sensor monitors the area alongside and behind the Caddy. The driver is informed of any other road users that are beside, behind or – within a defined period of time – level with their own vehicle in the immediately neighbouring lane (left or right). The driver is alerted to any potentially critical situations via an LED in the exterior mirror housing units. If there is a vehicle in the area alongside, the LED on the exterior mirror lights up; if the driver also operates the indicator in the direction of the identified vehicle, the LED pulses as a further warning level.

Any intention to change lanes can also be recognised without the indicator being operated if the vehicle has Lane Assist activated. In this case Lane Assist relays to the lane keeping system the information that the driver’s own vehicle is nearing the lane demarcation line. If the driver indicates and starts to leave the lane even though Side Assist is warning of an object alongside, they need to overcome resistance applied to the steering wheel as well, thus reducing the risk of any hazardous changing of lane.

Example – Rear Traffic Alert: the objective here, by means of monitoring the situation and warning the driver of any traffic about to cross behind his or her own vehicle, is to avoid a collision when a driver is reversing out of a parking space with restricted visibility. Put in concrete terms, the system assists drivers in blind situations by informing or warning them of any traffic crossing to the rear. In critical situations the function automatically triggers emergency braking. Rear Traffic Alert is integrated as standard into the rear radar sensor’s range of functions. The new system in the fifth-generation Caddy thus makes reversing out of driveways and parallel parking spaces easier.

Via the radar sensors, Rear Traffic Alert spots not only vehicles driving directly behind the Caddy, but also any crossing traffic that is approaching at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees from the side, which is sometimes very hard for the driver to see, especially in the panel van. If there is a risk of collision, the system produces a visual alert and an audible warning. If the driver or other road user does not take action to avert the danger, Rear Traffic Alert automatically applies the brakes before any possible collision.

Example – Park Assist 3.0: provides assistance when entering parking spaces parallel or perpendicular to the carriageway through sizing up the parking situation, automated driver-assisted parking with 360-degree display of the surroundings and by warning the driver of any close obstacles. Features: if the driver does not intervene despite a warning, the system automatically brings the vehicle to a standstill in this case too.

Numerous details of the Caddy systems have also been enhanced. At the front, for instance, a new multifunction camera is now being used in the Caddy. It improves, among other things, the functionality of road sign recognition, as now more supplementary signs get recognised and logically laid out. Another new feature is the 190-degree reversing camera, which provides greater resolution and advanced display of guidance lines

The functionality of the cruise control system has been enhanced with a speed limiter, which now automatically applies the brakes before the speed set by the driver is exceeded. Many of the assist systems are the best in the Caddy’s segment. Within the competitive marketplace three of them – Trailer Assist, Travel Assist and the direct-measuring Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – are, in fact, unique.

The fifth-generation Caddy’s new assist systems in overview:

  • Emergency Assist (assisted stopping of the Caddy in an emergency)
  • Side Assist (integrated in the rear radar sensor, it indicates approaching vehicles or vehicles in the blind spot as a warning LED in the exterior mirror housing)
  • Trailer Assist (trailer manoeuvring system)
  • Travel Assist (autonomous driving, Level 2)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces (monitors traffic behind the vehicle, gives the driver a visual/audible warning and applies the brakes if there is a risk of collision; integrated in the rear radar sensor; works only in combination with Side Assist)

In addition, the following systems have been carried across from the previous model into the new Caddy and in the process fully updated:

  • Front Assist with collision avoidance and new lane-crossing assistance
  • ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) with Stop & Go
  • Hill Start Assist
  • ESC with ABS, ASR and EDS
  • Light Assist main beam assistant, where LED lights are fitted and with the halogen headlights on the new Caddy
  • Cruise control system with speed limiter
  • Lane Assist (lane keeping system)
  • Driver Alert
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
  • Park Assist (assisted parking system)
  • Park Pilot parking assistant
  • Rear View (rear view camera) in the handle of the left-hand rear wing door or under the rear window on hatchback versions
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
  • Dynamic Road Sign Display