Proton today announced that the highly-anticipated Proton X50 will be available for booking starting tomorrow. Aside from the attractive appearance of the compact SUV and the new 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, what stood out to us the most is the inclusion of Level 2 autonomous driving on the range-topping Flagship variant.
The new advanced driver assistance features on the all-new Proton X50 is actually one step up from its larger sibling, the X70, which only comes equipped with a Level 1 autonomous driving suite. So what exactly are the differences between the two levels? Read on to know the full lowdown!
Level 1 Autonomous Driving
Level 1, as the name suggests, is the most basic type of autonomous driving, where the driver is still required to control most aspects of driving. Specific functions such as steering or accelerating can be done automatically by the car, though not simultaneously.
The two higher-end variants of the Proton X70 come equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), where the vehicle automatically keeps a safe predetermined distance and speed behind the car ahead, and will automatically slow down the vehicle if the car in front gets too near, reducing fatigue during longer journeys.
However, the X70 only comes with a basic lane departure warning, which gives the driver an audible warning when it detects that the vehicle is swerving out of the lane, and does not carry out any corrective measures. Drivers will still have to steer the car, which only qualifies it as a level 1 autonomous driving system.
Level 2 Autonomous Driving
At this level, the vehicle is capable of controlling the steering, accelerating, and braking by itself with no human input required. However, it is important to keep in mind that the X50 with level 2 autonomous driving is not a fully automated driving machine yet, and the driver is still required to take control of the car at any given time.
While Proton remains tight-lipped on the details of the advanced driver assistance features on the Proton X50, the mention of a level 2 system means that it is pretty-much a given that the new compact SUV will feature some form of Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA) in addition to the ACC functionality.
The advance driving assistance suite will bring the Proton X50 in line with the Geely Bin Yue – which it is based upon – over in China. Using a combination of a millimetre-wave radar and high-definition cameras, the Proton X50 should be capable of following vehicles in lane at speeds of up to 150 km/h, and can even perform lane changes automatically!
The advanced driver assistance suite on the Proton X50 should also include the parking assistant feature for parallel parking sports, along with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Other standard safety and assistance features include a 360-degree around-view monitor and tyre pressure monitoring system on the two higher-end variants.
Autonomous technology and advanced driver assistance features have really come a long way, and we’re finally seeing it trickle down into more affordable models available to the masses. However, we can’t stress enough that these systems cannot be taken for granted, and you as a driver should always have your hands on the steering wheel no matter how advance these systems are, and to also keep your eyes on the road.
Will the level 2 autonomous driving feature be the final nail in the coffin for its competitors? Let us know your thoughts in the comment sections below!