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MG HS SAFETY FEATURES - A CLOSER LOOK (Part One)

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posted by DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES (Paul Williams) alias DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES on Tuesday 19th of July 2022 09:46:40 AM

MG HS SAFETY FEATURES - A CLOSER LOOK FROM AIRBAGS TO AUTONOMOUS LEVEL 2 DRIVING PART ONE The MG HS (AS23) features a whole package of safety features from Antilock brakes and airbags to level 2 Autonomous driving, whereby she can brake, steer and pull away on her own, as well as keep within road lane markings, detect passing cars, avoid passers by, emergency brake and even drive under water (OK, I may have just made that one up). The features are designed to ensure that our journeys are covered safely and provide an auxiliary level of detection and protection above and beyond our own constant, natural and essential skills behind the wheel. Some of the features may be new technology to some owners, and so in this several part piece, I wanted to explain a few of the features available to us. A NOTE WORTH MENTIONING Please note that all of these features are there to sit alongside our normal levels of vigilance and care when driving and should NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be seen as replacements for our own due care and attention when behind the wheel. In the USA there have been cases of car drivers having accidents after engaging similar safety aids and seemingly simultaneously disengaging their own brains! I will be concentrating on the MG HS EXCLUSIVE DCT as that is the car that I drive, and although many of the features listed can be found on other variants in the range, a few may be specific only to the 'Exclusive' variant or the DCT. Here is a link to the official SAIC MG UK OWNER'S HANDBOOK which every owner and prospective owner should read from cover to cover: www.mg.co.uk/.../202.../MG HS Owner Manual.pdf You will find detailed explanations of all of the safety features on your MG HS within this pages, and there are help videos on You Tube that are always well worth a look. SO FIRST THINGS FIRST WHAT IS AUTONOMOUS DRIVING? The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines six levels of driving automation systems that perform part or all of the Dynamic Driving Task (DDT) on a sustained basis. These were first issued on January 16th 2014 under J3016 201401. The very latest definitions were revised on April 30th 2021 under J3016 202104 and show these levels as: Level 0: No Driving Automation Level 1: Driver Assistance Level 2: Partial Driving Automation Level 3: Conditional Driving Automation Level 4: High Driving Automation Level 5: Full Driving Automation The MG HS is officially categorised as Level 2 (Partial Driving Automation). This means advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS. The vehicle can control both steering and accelerating/decelerating. Here the automation falls short of self-driving because a human sits in the driver’s seat and can take control of the car at any time. Tesla Autopilot and Cadillac (General Motors) Super Cruise systems both qualify as Level 2, along with a few other vehicles including the wonderful MG HS. DOES THE MG HS STEER ITSELF? Yes, absolutely. I tested mine on adaptive cruise control with LKA and MG Pilot set on one journey on the A2 coming home from Herne Bay in Kent. With no vehicles on the carriageway in front or behind me for as far as could be seen, I took my hands off the wheel (keeping them close by for safety) and, driving at 68mph and rounding a steep, downhill bend to the left, the HS simply drove itself perfectly, completely automated with no input from me. It is absolutely brilliant, and somewhat freaky at first. I drive all of the time, everywhere with all of my safety aids set to on (more will be explained in Part Two), and this means that on all roads with markings, my MG HS will steer itself which I personally love. It takes some getting used to, and some people will hate it. For me, it is another aid that greatly enhances my relaxed feel behind the wheel. I take control of the wheel at all times of course, but the lightest grip is necessary as the car is reading the roads and bends, and doing the clever stuff for me. BUT let's make it clear that this system is a safety enhancement, there to assist us, and provide safer driving, it is not a hands free semi autonomous system to let us make texts and phone calls whilst the car does the work. You must use all of the special driving assist modes correctly and remember that they are there to work alongside the drivers normal and continuous input, they are not a substitute for the drivers full concentration and driving input. EURO NCAP SAFETY RATING The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) is a European voluntary, non-profit automotive safety performance assessment programme, based in Leuven in Belgium which was formed in 1996, with the first results released in February 1997. It was originally started by the Transport Research Laboratory for the UK Department for Transport, but later backed by several European governments, as well as by the European Union with a corporate slogan of: "For Safer Cars". The MG HS was officially tested in December 2019 by EURO NCAP and received a magnificent 5 star rating, the highest safety rating that any vehicle can achieve. Let's put that into perspective and the Fiat Panda received no stars in 2018, the Jeep Wrangler and Dacia Duster received just one star in 2021, the Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo, Jeep Renegade & VW UP just three stars in 2019 & 2020. And how do NCAP describe such a high rating for the MG HS? '' 5 star safety: Overall excellent performance in crash protection and well equipped with comprehensive and robust crash avoidance technology '' Some of the categories of tests and results achieved were as follows: ADULT OCCUPANT 92% (35.2 Pts) Frontal Offset Deformable Barrier for driver and passenger 7.3/8 Pts Frontal Full Width 7.6/8 Pts Whiplash Rear Impact 1.8/2 Pts Lateral Impact 14.5/16 Pts ADULT OCCUPANTS 4/4 Pts Approaching a stationary car: Left Offset/Approaching a stationary car: No Offset & Approaching a stationary car: Right Offset CHILD OCCUPANT 81% (40.0 Pts) Frontal impact 14.3 Pts/Lateral Impact 6.7 Pts/Safety features 7/13 Pts CRS INSTALLATION CHECK 12/12 Pts UNIVERSAL BELTED CRS 40.0 Pts 81% VULNERABLE ROAD USERS 64% 22.5/36 Pts Pedestrian head impact 15.9 Pts/Pelvis impact 1.1 Pts/Leg impact 5.5 Pts Automated Emergency Braking system for pedestrians/Auto brake with forward collision warning operational at 4km 8.4/12 Pts AEB PEDESTRIAN 30.8 Pts/64% SAFETY ASSIST 76% The full results for the MG HS NCAP tests can be viewed here: cdn.euroncap.com/.../euroncap-2019-mg-hs... There are also complete and official videos for the tests made on several MG HS models which can be found online and on You Tube and the link is here: youtu.be/nyGD3atT3kU AIRBAG SUPPLEMENTARY RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS) Airbags were first designed and patented in 1919 by two dentists for the covering of aeroplane and other vehicle parts. The patent was approved in 1920 and car airbags were credited to John W. Hetrick who's patent was granted in 1953 in the USA. Car airbag systems were first developed in the 1970's and whilst early commercial designs were somewhat flawed and responsible for some fatalities, the technology improved and evolved through the 1980's and 1990's to the point where they are a standard feature in all modern day cars. AIRBAGS IN THE MG HS In the case of the MG HS airbags are designed for the protection of adults (Isofix fitting points are installed in the case of child seats for infants and young children), and used in conjunction with seatbelts, the front airbags are located in the centre of the steering wheel and dashboard above the glove compartment. Seat side airbags are fitted to the outer side of the seat squabs and side head impact protection airbags are fitted behind the headlining. A small 'Airbag' sign is located at all points where airbags are fitted. Please read your owners manual with regards recommendations for the seating of young children where airbags are fitted. That is a very important safety point. Airbags are deployed instantaneously at speeds of up to two hundred miles per hour (300 km/h or more) and deploy in approximately 0.05 Seconds, and can be painful in reality. They have been described thus: '' It can feel like being kicked in the face and chest by a very strong but fluffy bunny! '' They have been known to cause minor injuries through abrasion, but bare in mind what they are designed for, and the fact that they soften your impact against all of the surfaces within the car interior which would almost certainly prove more harmful, possibly even fatal in comparison. The deployment happens at point of impact in a crash when the force generated meets the pre-set limits as determined by the vehicle manufacturer/airbag manufacturer and is designed to cushion the occupants of the vehicle from the force of the impact, potentially a life saving deployment. Front airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes to prevent a person's head and chest from contacting hard structures in the vehicle. Newer style airbags have a safety belt sensor and use an algorithm to decide whether to deploy the bag in a given crash, depending on whether people are using safety belts. For example, a front airbag will deploy for unbelted occupants when the crash is the equivalent of an impact into a solid wall at around 10-12 mph. For belted occupants the threshold is often around 16 mph because the belts alone are likely to provide adequate protection up to these moderate speeds. In the MG HS the front passenger airbag can be disabled ONLY in the event that a rear facing child seat is fitted in the front passenger seat. It can be disabled by turning the switch on the left outer side of the front fascia panel with a coin or key but must be switched on again once the child seat has been removed and is not in use. ANTILOCK BRAKES (ABS) The MG HS features ventilated front disc brakes and solid rears which are Hydraulic, servo assisted and dual circuit in design. Anti lock brakes are an anti-skid system using the principles of Threshold braking and Cadence braking, an old style of braking where the brake pedal was pumped to allow the car to both steer and brake on slippery surfaces. It's history can be traced back to 1908 with J.E Francis' 'Slip Prevention Regulator' for trains and then in 1920 when Gabriel Voisin, a French automobile and aircraft engineer pioneered a system. German engineer Karl Waessel patented the ABS system in 1928, as did Robert Bosch in 1936 though neither created a working product. Concorde featured the first fully electronic ABS system in the late 1960's and the modern day system originally called 'Antiskid' was invented in 1971 by Mario Palazzetti at the Fiat Research Center, with the patent later being sold to Bosch who officially named it ABS. The Antilock braking system on the MG HS is a dual circuit system so that if one circuit should fail, the second will continue to function merely requiring greater pedal pressure to operate (stopping distance will also be greater than when fully functioning as a dual circuit system). There is also a Stability Control System (SCS) which includes a brake disc wiping function which is activated when the windscreen wipers are used. The braking system also features ELECTRONIC BRAKE FORCE DISTRIBUTION (EBD), a system which distributes braking forces between the front and rear wheels under all conditions for safer braking. ELECTRONIC BRAKE ASSISTANCE (EBA) also monitors and reacts to the speed at which the brakes are applied during an emergency, and utilizes full ABS in accordance with the conditions and pre-sets. STABILITY CONTROL SYSTEM (SCS) This feature is designed to help the driver keep the vehicle under control and is in standby mode as soon as the engine is started. If the system detects that the car is not moving in the correct direction, it will apply brake forces to selected wheels or through the engine management system to prevent sliding, and help correct the car's position. TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM (TCS) This system is particularly useful in situations of ice, snow and standing water and works by detecting if one or both of the front driving wheels are spinning independently or simultaneously. TCS detects abnormalities and automatically brakes the wheel in question, transferring torque to the opposite non-spinning wheel. If both wheels are spinning, TCS will reduce engine speed automatically in an effort to regulate the wheel rotation until full traction is once more established. Both TCS and SCS can be switched off via the infotainment system for example when snow chains are being used. ABS continues to function normally regardless of them being switched on or off. PARKING AID SYSTEM The MG HS features Ultrasonic Sensor Parking Aid which are the four round rear parking sensors located on the lower section of the black rear bumper lower. These sensors are automatically engaged with a single audible beep when you place the vehicle in reverse and will make an audible beeping sound as you reverse towards other obstacles such as parked cars or garage doors. The warning beeps commence when obstacles are within 1.5 metres of the rear sensors or 0.6 metres of the corner sensors and grow more rapid as the range decreases to 30 cms when the beeping becomes continuous and you should reverse no further. A rear camera is fitted to the DCT between the rear license plate lamps and this is automatically shown on the infotainment screen as soon as reverse is selected. The lines on the camera screen help you line up the wheels in a straight line, and show how close you are to the obstacle behind with differing coloured lines, Red meaning you must reverse no further. REAR DRIVER ASSISTANCE SYSTEM Rear modules are located on the sides of the vehicle and these help detect other vehicles behind or to the sides of your vehicle. They help monitor: BLIND SPOT DETECTION (BSD)-(Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) in Australia) This safety system monitors the blind spots on the right and left rear. If a vehicle is in the blind spot and not visible in the door mirror, the Blind Spot Monitoring system alerts the driver by displaying a visual yellow/orange signal on the inside of the door mirror on the side where the vehicle is detected. LANE CHANGE ASSIST (LCA) - (Lane Change Warning (LCW) in Australia) If the driver has not noticed the yellow visual signal from the Blind Spot Detection and indicates to change lanes while a vehicle is in the blind spot, the Lane Change Assist system provides an additional visual, audible and tactile warning to (help) avoid a collision. This is calculated by the system if there is likely to be a collision with your vehicle within three and a half seconds and you are travelling at higher than 20mph. REAR CROSS TRAFFIC ALERT (RCTA) - (Rear traffic alert (RTA) in Australia) When reversing, the system monitors vehicles approaching from the left and right rear. If a vehicle is detected, the warning lamps will illuminate and a warning triangle icon for the corresponding side will display on the infotainment screen to alert the driver. This is especially useful when reversing out of a parking space and you cannot see if cross traffic is approaching DOOR OPEN WARNING (DOW) When stationary, the DOW system monitors for approaching vehicles, motorcycles and bikes. The system will then show a warning light to the occupant to warn against the danger and help prevent collisions when opening the door. In Part Two I will continue with a look at a few more features including the Adaptive Cruise Control System on the MG HS Written by Paul Williams on February 4th 2022 and updated on March 1st 2022***Photograph courtesy of NCAP



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