VW Tiguan Driver Shows Traffic Jam Assist Is Not Infallible In The Real World

Today, lots of new cars are equipped to handle slowing down and speeding up all on their own, using nothing but radar-guided cruise control technology.

A step beyond that are systems that can also navigate stop-and-go traffic, like VW’s Traffic Jam Assist demonstrated in this video on-board a new-generation Tiguan SUV. As you can see, the system is not exactly foolproof.

While useful, any system that falls short of Level 4 autonomous driving will never allow the driver to fully relax behind the wheel. So by intervening, the driver is basically doing as much work as the driver assistance system, even if it’s only in intervals.

Furthermore, this tech can lead to situations where the car’s electronic “brain” makes a mistake and you’re suddenly drifting too much towards the lane next to you – and that will put a scare into any driver who expects the on-board computers to be infallible.

As for how this Tiguan performed, well, you be the judge. The driver insists that the car isn’t actually pulling to the right that much and that the placement of the video camera is the real culprit there.

However in the comments, he does acknowledge a couple of misfires, specifically at the 1:30 and 2:07 minute marks.

  • Giannis Antypas

    Well it performed better than what I had thought it would.

  • Craig

    I would not find something like this even slightly relaxing. It would be like having a ‘new driver’ take over.

    • Six_Tymes

      spot on statement

  • dumblikeyou2

    I think this would tire me out more than just driving it myself.

    • NissLover

      After watching this video… my thoughts exactly. That looks completely stressful wondering if the car is going to fail or drift. May as well drive! The only situation I think I would be able to relax more is highway rush hour traffic where there isn’t so much lane changes and traffic is at a crawl, especially here in Houston where the majority of our highways are arrow straight.

      I wonder if this system has the same ability as Infiniti’s to “see” 2 cars ahead…

  • Bo Hanan

    What happens when the car on your left comes into your lane and you have cars in front, behind and directly to your right? I see a lot of seniors, females, young people having accidents when these become ,ain stream. Police will be able to download ECU’s on the spot to determine fault.

  • LeStori

    The problem with these systems is they are reactive. A “good” driver is proactive. Looking for dangerous situations. I realise there are many out there who also drive reactively. Looking for their next accident. However put two reactive systems to gether, one totally unpreduictable and one sort of predictable and “entertainment” will be the order of the day.

  • Galaxium

    Aren’t semi-autonomous systems more dangerous because the driver has to intermittently correct and drive?

    I think Google was having issues with their semi-autonomous systems where drivers were falling asleep or becoming really drowsy.

  • klowik

    I think the driver will be even more alert than driving the car himself. Since the driver has to keep an eye of what the car is doing if the computer gets it wrong; checking traffic and also adjust the steering all at the same time. It’s even more tiring and somewhat dangerous to do that. If the driver drives it by himself the driver will be the computer who drive the car and its easier for the driver themselves. These driver assist technology is supposed to relieve the drivers from doing extra work , not giving them more to do and it should just provide the driver extra set of eyes when drivers are off their attention. I think car manufacturers should rethink about all this driver assist tech again. The semi-auto mode should only be kicked in if you are on a highway with less traffic and speed limit less than 100km/h. A car should only has the braking assist when driving at normal speed such as under 80km/h.

  • TheHake

    Traffic Jam assist is not for driving handsfree at 40-60 km/h. It’s for when you sit in a traffic jam, doing low km/h.

  • Enter Ranting

    It’s terrifying that VWs are out there trying to drive themselves. I wouldn’t trust a car from those monkey gassers as far as I could throw it.

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