Side Assist, which is available as an option for the ŠKODA SCALA and KAMIQ models, supports overtaking on motorways and highways, contributing to increased safety. It detects vehicles approaching from behind up to a distance of 70 metres and warns the driver. In 2019, one in five SCALAs (20.2%) rolled off the production line with this assistant. In the KAMIQ city SUV, the Side Assist assistance system with integrated Rear Traffic Alert complemented the standard lane departure warning and front-wheel assistant with city emergency braking function in as many as 26.9% of the vehicles. Rear Traffic Alert warns the driver about objects moving around the rear of the car when reversing out of a parking space. KAMIQ drivers ordered additional airbags more frequently than SCALA buyers: 44.8% of all city SUVs were equipped with the optional knee airbag for the driver, 15.1% had Proactive Passenger Protection including side airbags on the rear doors. In the SCALA, 18.9% opted for the optional knee airbag.
KAMIQ customers love comfort
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) offers additional comfort, for example, for frequent drivers or on long stretches of motorway. For the KAMIQ city SUV, more than a third of customers (34.5%) opted for this intelligent system, which automatically maintains the desired speed up to 210 km/h and brakes automatically when the car in front slows down. Almost one in four SCALA vehicles (24.5%) was equipped with this system. Fatigue detection is also helpful on longer journeys, with 19.3% of KAMIQ buyers and 17.4% of SCALA drivers opting for it.
Among drivers of the two ŠKODA compact models, the rearview camera, which 45% of customers ordered when buying a SCALA and 59.1% of customers ordered for the KAMIQ, is very popular. For safe and convenient parking, 36.9% of all SCALA models delivered and 49.2% of all KAMIQs had front and rear parking sensors on board. ŠKODA also offers a smart lighting feature: While all SCALA and KAMIQ models can automatically switch on the dipped beam when darkness falls, or it starts to rain, the optional Auto Light Assist also offers the option of automatically dimming the high beam when vehicles approach. This extra feature was chosen by 22.8% of SCALA buyers and 17.8% of KAMIQ customers. 71.4% of the SCALA models delivered and 81.4% of ŠKODA KAMIQ were equipped with a rain sensor.
Interview with Jaroslav Krejča, Series Manager of Overall Vehicle Small at ŠKODA AUTO:
The ŠKODA compact models SCALA and KAMIQ come with lane departure warning and front radar assistant with city emergency brake function as standard. How do these two systems work?
Jaroslav Krejča: It varies. Lane Assist uses the camera in the windscreen to detect lane boundaries and road markings. This enables it to warn the driver of an unintentional lane change and keep the vehicle in the current lane through steering interventions. Automatic counter-steering is continuous and smooth and can be overridden by the driver at any time with little effort. The front radar assistant, on the other hand, uses a radar at the front of the vehicle to monitor the distance to the car ahead. The system warns the driver of an impending collision and can also initiate automatic braking to avoid a collision or minimise the consequences of one. Pedestrian and cyclist detection is also active at speeds between 5 and 60 km/h. The system uses a sophisticated algorithm to calculate in advance whether a pedestrian or cyclist is in danger of cutting across the road.
What additional functions does the optional Side Assist offer?
Krejča: Side Assist uses two radar sensors in the rear bumper to monitor an area up to 70 meters behind the vehicle. If the system detects vehicles approaching from behind or in the blind spot, it warns the driver with light signals on the inside of the side mirror housing and with vibrations in the steering wheel. If the driver activates the indicator to indicate a lane change in the direction of the vehicle approaching from behind, Side Assist also actively intervenes with steering corrections to avoid a collision. The system works from a speed of 15 km/h when accelerating and up to 10 km/h when braking. An additional component of Side Assist is Rear Traffic Alert: when the driver of a SCALA or KAMIQ wants to reverse out of a parking space, the system informs them at speeds of up to 15 km/h if objects are moving around the rear of the vehicle. This also works if these objects approach from the side and are moving at speeds of up to 70 km/h. If the driver does not respond to the first visual signal, the system also gives an acoustic warning before initiating automatic emergency braking.
The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) also automatically maintains a safe distance from vehicles ahead while driving and, if necessary, brakes the SCALA or KAMIQ to a standstill. Combined with the steering interventions of Lane Assist, does this now constitute autonomous driving?
Krejča: We are still a few steps away from introducing production-ready autonomous driving in our vehicles. However, our currently available systems already fulfill semi-autonomous functions that support the driver in certain actions and increase safety in many situations. This is the case, for example, when the system is able to detect a dangerous situation faster and earlier than the driver and thus prevent accidents. The driver always bears full responsibility for their vehicle while driving and must, therefore, keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.