During the media preview event yesterday at Sepang International Circuit, where we also learned about the three-cylinder engine’s NVH-specific improvements, Proton has also finally revealed the details of the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features on the Proton X50, exclusive to the Flagship variant.
As you probably are aware, the Flagship variant of the Proton X50 will be equipped with level two autonomous driving capabilities as standard – a feature that Proton boasts as a first in its class. We’ve explained the differences between the Level 2 and Level 1 system (as on the X70) before, but in short, Level 2 autonomous driving includes sustained control for lateral movements (i.e. steering) in addition to longitudinal control, or accelerating and braking.
The main highlight of the L2 autonomous feature on the Proton X50 Flagship is the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), which is capable of providing acceleration, braking, and steering assistance in certain driving conditions. Essentially, it combines the adaptive cruise control (ACC) system from the X70 together with lane keeping assist and lane centering assist, which allows the car to follow another car ahead at a predetermined distance at up to speeds of 150 km/h.
On the ACC front, the system has also been improved from the one on its elder brother, with the addition of a stop-go functionality, allowing the X50 to brake to a complete stop depending on the vehicle ahead. If the stop was less than three seconds, the system on the X50 will resume driving (in cruise control) automatically without any driver input; otherwise, the driver will need to click on the resume button or apply the accelerator to resume cruise control.
The ICC system also gains an overtake assist feature, which automatically speeds up the car if the turn indicator was activated, along with a curve deceleration control which automatically applies the brakes slightly to help the car steer into the bend.
Being an assistance feature, the ICC system still requires the drivers to put their hands on the steering wheel at all times. A torque sensor within the steering wheel detects for driver input, and a warning chime will kick in to instruct the driver to keep their hands on the wheels if no movement is detected. If the driver’s hands were not detected for an extended period of time, the system will disengage automatically.
The Proton X50 Flagship variant is also equipped with autonomous parking assist, or APA as proton calls it – another level two autonomous driving assistance feature which can automatically park the car in both perpendicular and parallel parking spots, as well as exiting from tight parallel spaces.
For the purpose of keeping the drivers mindful of their surroundings at all times when using the system, the X50 requires drivers to keep their hands held on the parking assist button on the centre console. The system stops immediately if the driver releases the button – useful in the event of sudden obstacles – and can be resumed by holding the button again.
Other advance driver assistance features on the Proton X50 Flagship include forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), an improved blind spot monitor with indicators located within the side mirrors (a la Volvo), and intelligent high beam control.
The Proton X50 is now open for booking, though no pricing has been announced just yet. Four variants are available – Standard, Executive, Premium, and Flagship, with the ADAS system mentioned above only reserved for the range-topping Flagship variant.
The lower three variants is equipped with a port-injection version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, capable of making 150 hp and 226 Nm of torque, while the range-topper Proton X50 Flagship gets a direct-injection version of the same engine, bumping up the outputs to 177 hp and 255 Nm. Both engines are mated to a retuned seven-speed DCT gearbox.