What is Rear Cross Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance Assist in Cars?
In this fast-paced world, everyone wants to get things done quickly. During such hasty affairs, people sometimes forget to prioritise safety. This is why technology has been evolving rapidly, and more focus is put on vehicle safety features. One such innovation is the Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Learn more about this forefront innovation and how it helps drivers avoid collisions.
What Is Rear Cross Traffic Alert?
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps drivers identify closely approaching traffic which sometimes they might not be able to view. This is a common sight in parking lots where you shift your gear in reverse.
RCTA, which also goes by terms such as Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist or Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, specifically monitors right and left areas behind your vehicle for approaching vehicles.
It gets activated once you shift the gear in reverse. When reversing, you will receive a warning or a visual if any other vehicle enters the detection area. This warning can appear on the side mirror, rearview mirror, or dashboard.
For instance, if the vehicle appears from the right, the visual or auditory warning will appear on the right side mirror or right side of the dashboard or rearview mirror.
Moreover, this system sometimes comes with backup cameras and both get turned on automatically when you shift your vehicle into reverse.
Why Do You Need Rear Cross Traffic Alert?
Reversing systems such as Rear Cross Traffic Alerts are now common in most passenger cars and car manufacturers provide reversing cameras, rear parking sensors or 360-degree surround view systems.
All of these features aid a driver in avoiding car parking mishaps. The only downside can be that none of these features warns the driver of any object if it is not in an area of a few metres.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert offers assistance a step ahead by detecting any approaching vehicle at a distance of up to 50 metres. This system, in conjunction with the other reversing aids, offers additional confidence and assistance to the driver while manoeuvring their vehicle through a complex situation.
How Does a Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning Works?
Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning utilises technologies similar to blind spot monitors. These are usually sensors such as radar or ultrasonic waves.
Here’s how it works:
When you change to reverse gear, small radar sensors placed within the rear bumper area scan the left and right areas of the vehicle.
The system then monitors and measures the speed, distance, and direction of the vehicles approaching if they are within 50 metres.
If the system identifies any potential danger, it alerts the driver with an audible warning, sometimes accompanied by a visual alert.
Depending on the side of the potential danger, the alert can appear on the left or right side of the vehicle.
How to Use Rear Cross Traffic Assist?
The Rear Cross Traffic Assist gets activated when you shift your vehicle into reverse. When you are backing out of a parking space, reverse slowly.
Once your vehicle's rear end crosses beyond the adjacent vehicles and objects, the rear cross-traffic assistant will have a clearer view of the approaching object or vehicle if within a range of up to 50 metres.
Hence, you should always check over your right and left shoulders for approaching vehicles and reverse slowly.
Limitations of Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Here are a few limitations:
Rear Cross Traffic Warning may not detect small objects, motorcycles, or pedestrians. It can also fail to detect any object or vehicle approaching from directly behind your car or moving away from it.
Most RCTA systems are ideal for functioning properly in straight parking areas. Due to their skewed sensor monitoring area, this system may not work best in angled parking configuration.
Additionally, the system requires a vehicle to back up at 5 miles per hour. However, this speed limit may vary depending on the car's manufacturer and model.
It is important to remember that RCTA has its limitations and is not a replacement for an attentive driver. This is why drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and not entirely rely on Rear Cross Traffic Alert.