Traffic jam assist helps drivers arrive more relaxed at their destination, even in dense traffic or in traffic jams. As a partially-automated comfort function, the system takes over the longitudinal and lateral guidance of the vehicle. This means the car can drive off, accelerate and brake automatically, as well as steer the vehicle within certain constraints. The driver has to permanently supervise the system and be ready to take over the complete control of the vehicle at any time.
Traffic jam assist is based on the sensors and the functionality of adaptive cruise control with stop & go and lane keeping support, extended by adding electromechanical steering.
When ACC stop & go is turned on, the traffic jam assist continuously analyzes the speed of the surrounding vehicles and compares it with the own driving speed. If the system detects dense traffic or a traffic jam, the driver can activate the functionality by pressing a button. The vehicle will now automatically follow the vehicle in front, takes over driving off, acceleration, braking and steering within the same lane. In this way, the system is able to react, for example, when an emergency lane is formed.
The first generation of traffic jam assist is expected to enter series production in 2015. In the following years, the system will be enhanced to cover ever-faster speeds and more complex driving situations, including automatic lane changes.