London, February 18 : German automobile manufacturer BMW has installed the Active Cruise Control system in its 5 and 6 Series cars, which automatically stops the vehicle to avert an accident without having to use the breaks.
The system uses a radar beam to constantly measure the distance to the vehicles in front of it. A driver can set the desired speed and distance to be maintained from the car in front, and then sit back and do next to nothing.
Once activated, the system enables the car to drive on its own, with the only exception that the driver needs to control the steering. It can slow the vehicle a complete stop when necessary, and later scoot back up to the set speed as soon as traffic allows.
The system breaks the car even when someone veers across three lanes to cut you off.
A camera hidden behind the rear-vision mirror reads white or yellow lines on the road. Just in case the system senses that the driver is veering out of his lane, it vibrates the steering wheel to alert him about the same.
The only time when the driver will have to break is when there is no car in front of the vehicle. To get going again, all the driver is required to do is to hit the "resume" button.
BMW spokesman Toni Andreevski believes that even cheaper cars will start coming with Active Cruise systems over time.
"What's novel about it today will be quite normal in a couple of years' time. As a result, drivers will be less tired, less stressed and more able to react to dangers on the road,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.