Volkswagen says the latest generation of its exit warning system can warn vehicle occupants about road users approaching from behind.
The new advanced driver assistance (ADAS) feature, which can detect approaching cyclists, are standard in the new ID.7, Passat and Tiguan.
“The new ID.7 is equipped with the highest specification of the assist system,” Volkswagen said in a press release. “The exit warning system scans the area behind the Volkswagen via two rear radar sensors (on the left and right in the bumper) and informs the passengers of a danger before a door handle is even operated.
If a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist is approaching, the driver is alerted via an LED light in the exterior mirror before doors are opened. If someone inside the vehicle tries to pull the door handle despite the warning, the doors are temporarily locked, the OEM said.
If a door is already opened when a road user begins approaching, a warning signal sounds, Volkswagen said, adding that the ADAS feature remains active for three minutes after a vehicle is parked.
A Volkswagen spokesman did not respond to a Repairer Driven News query by deadline to share guidance on how repairers can ensure the systems are properly restored following a collision.
However, Database Enhancement Gateway Administrator Danny Gredinberg said he believes the OEM uses the blind spot warning and lane change assist radars to communicate a notification to the driver.
The automaker said the system works the same way in the Passat and Tiguan, except that they lack the door opening delay due to having mechanical door locks.
The exit warning system is available as optional in the ID.4 and ID.5, although in those models the LED light is only activated when a passenger attempts to open a door in a dangerous situation, Volkswagen said. It said the other warning levels are the same.
The exit warning system is optionally available in the ID.4 and ID.5. It operates in almost the same way as in the ID.7. The only exception: in this case, the LED light in the exterior mirror is only activated in case of danger when the passengers operate one of the door handles. The other warning levels – the acoustic signal in the respective door and the electronic opening delay – are identical to those in the ID.7.
The Golf, which was the first vehicle equipped with an exit warning system, works the same way as the ID.4 and ID.5, but lacks the door opening delay.
Mercedes-Benz introduced a similar feature as part of its blind spot monitoring system in 2020. Its system can detect passing vehicles, cyclists or motorcyclists travelling faster than 4.35 miles per hour.
When a person or object is detected by Mercedes’ system, a visual alert appears in the side view mirror.
“If the driver or passengers attempt to use the interior door handle, an additional audible warning will sound, and the ambient door lighting will begin flashing red,” Mercedes said when announcing the system. “This alerts occupants to any potential obstruction before they exit, substantially reducing the risk of an unfortunate incident.”
Studies have shown that cyclists can be seriously injured by crashing into a door that abruptly opens. Also known as “dooring,” the collisions happen when a driver or passenger abruptly swing open their door in front of an oncoming cyclist, runner, pedestrian or motorcyclist.
According to studies in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, dooring is among the most common causes of bike accidents, with many victims sustaining injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.
Featured image courtesy of Volkswagen