Traffic jam assistant (driver assistance system)

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The driver assistance system congestion assistant (. English traffic jam assistant ) is an information fusion of the ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control, German: adaptive cruise control) with the lane departure warning . The system can therefore accelerate, brake and steer.


The system is active at low speeds. Currently (2015) up to approx. 60 km / h. It is therefore primarily used in monotonous traffic situations such as slow-moving traffic or traffic jams. If the vehicle exceeds this speed limit, a warning appears and the traffic jam assistant is deactivated. From this point on, either the lane departure warning system or the lane departure warning system is active.

Most manufacturers also expressly point out that it may only be used on well-developed roads and therefore not in city traffic. BMW even uses the data from the navigation device. If the vehicle is not on a motorway, this driver assistance system is not active. Other manufacturers do not limit the driver to this type of road and are therefore also active on other road types.

There is another difference in behavior when stationary. The length of time when the assistant deactivates itself varies from car to car. In the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, it takes 30 seconds for the assistant to switch itself off.

The lane departure warning system camera is used for orientation. The system thus receives information on the route through the lane markings and the direction of the vehicle in front. The system can also distinguish whether it should follow the lane or the car in front of it. This prevents the car from following a vehicle that is turning or changing lanes. The distance to the vehicle in front is continuously regulated by the adaptive cruise control .

Technical implementation

Depending on the manufacturer, either a stereo camera or a mono camera is used. The stereo camera offers the advantage that the spatial processing makes it easier to perceive distances and changes in direction.

The functions are only available in combination with an automatic transmission, as this enables comfort advantages, especially at low speeds, and is therefore an ideal addition to the traffic jam assistant.

Manufacturers are legally obliged to deactivate the system if the driver is completely inactive. In practice, the driver still needs to have at least one hand on the steering wheel for the sensors to detect driver activity. Otherwise the system will issue a warning after a certain period of time and then switch off.

Vehicles with traffic jam assistant

Manufacturer model properties
Audi Audi A3 , Audi A4 , Audi A5 , Audi A6 , Audi A7 , Audi A8 , Audi Q2 , Audi Q5 , Audi Q7 Radar and camera
Maserati Ghibli, Levante, Quattroporte Radar and camera
Mercedes C-Class , E-Class , CLS-Class from 2014 , S-Class Mercedes-Benz uses a stereo camera combined with a radar system.
BMW BMW G11 , BMW G30 , BMW F15 , BMW F16 The latest generation of BMW uses a stereo camera combined with a radar system.
Volkswagen Passat , Tiguan , Touran , Golf The VW Passat B8 and the other models from Volkswagen use a mono camera in the mirror base in conjunction with a radar sensor.

Autobahn pilot

A motorway pilot allows a motor vehicle to drive autonomously on motorways. Distance control, lane keeping and lane changes take place automatically.

Since the summer of 2015, the Tesla Model S has been able to drive completely autonomously on motorways in the entire speed range (i.e. up to maximum speed) (thanks to automatic software updates). The driver then does not have to operate the steering wheel, accelerator or brake.

Individual evidence