Lane Keeping Assistant works by using cameras or sensors to detect the white lines on the road. It tracks the lines and notifies the drivers if the vehicle is moving too close to them. If the vehicle continues driving closer to the lines on the road, without the indicators being activated, the lane keeping assistance takes over and corrects the vehicle. These systems are usually seen in higher end vehicles; however as the technology is getting cheaper to produce, it is becoming a standard in many new vehicles.
Does Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Have Any Faults?
These systems are not perfect, sometimes you can get a false reading during merge lanes, where the lines are present on the road, but not necessarily there to mark the lane. With most systems, if the driver is actively engaged in the steering wheel LKA does not come into effect.
Other challenges for the system can include hilly areas, where the road is not a completely flat surface. The rise and fall of the road can cause the LKA to lose ‘sight’ of the markers and then not be as effective. If the system cannot detect the lane markers, generally it will disengage - many cars will provide the driver with a warning when this occurs.
As with any driver assist system, the driver can learn to become too reliant on the system, and that can cause them to be less aware of the road around them. The driver needs to take note that while the system is present, it is a compliment for their own driving skills and not something that should be relied upon as an absolute.
The system has been designed with the “drowsy driver” driver in mind and is most effective when lane changes are slow and it is clear that the car is wandering in the lane.
How Lane Keeping Assistance Works
LKA works by utilising the vehicle front facing camera system. Using these cameras it is able to detect the road markers and create a digital image of the road. When it senses the vehicle is becoming too close to the lines and therefore departing the lane, it activates corrective measures.
When the system activates, the driver may notice that the vehicle is harder to steer toward the edge of the lane. The LKA moves the car gradually back to the middle of the lane. Operating the indicators will often disengage the system, and allow the car to traverse the lane.
Depending on your car manufacturer the system may require driver assistance to correct the vehicle, but many do not need the driver to be actively engaged with the steering wheel. It can take a while to get used to if you have not driven a car with these systems before, but soon you will get used to it.
How to Tell If Your Car Has LKA?
LKA is a major safety feature for many new cars. If you are buying a new car the salesperson will tell you and demonstrate how it works. If you are buying a secondhand car and you are not sure, you can search for the details of the vehicle. As with purchasing any second hand car it is best to check the history of the vehicle, in case it has been involved in an accident and the LKA system has been affected.