Lane centering

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Use of Tesla Autopilot may reduce accident rates.[1][2]

In road-transport terminology, lane centering, also known as auto steer, is a mechanism designed to keep a car centered in the lane, relieving the driver of the task of steering. Lane centering is similar to lane departure warning, but rather than warn the driver, or bouncing the car away from the lane edge, it keeps the car centered in the lane.[3] [4] [5][6] Together with adaptive cruise control this feature may allow unassisted driving for some seconds.[7][8] That is the meaning of Level 2 driverless, where two or more features work together to take over part of the driving.

Features that differentiate systems are how well they perform on turns, speed limitations and whether the system resumes from a stop.[9][10]

Current lane centering systems rely on visible lane markings. They typically cannot decipher faded, missing, incorrect or overlapping lane markings. Markings covered in snow, or old lane markings left visible, can hinder the ability of the system.[11] GM's Super Cruise only works on known freeways that have been previously mapped.[12]

Most vehicles require hands on the wheel, but GM super cruise monitors the driver's eyes to ensure human monitoring of the road, and thus allows hands-free driving.

In addition to passenger vehicles, Semi trucks are expected to be fitted with this technology, starting with the Tesla Semi and other vendors in 2019.[13]


The first commercially available lane centering systems were all based on off-the-shelf systems created by Mobileye, such as the Tesla Autopilot and Nissan Propilot[14], although Tesla has switched to an in-house system when Mobileye ended their partnership.[15] A handful of companies like Bosch, Delphi, and Mobileye provide sensors, control units, and even algorithms to car makers, who then integrate and refine those systems.[16] While not directly attributable to lane centering, crash rates on the Tesla Model S and Model X equipped with the Mobileye system were reduced by almost 40% while Tesla Autopilot was in use.[17][18][19]

Working principle[edit]

Lane detection algorithm
An example implementation of the lane detection algorithm showing Canny edge detection and Hough transform outputs

The lane detection system used by the lane departure warning system uses the principle of Hough transform and Canny edge detector to detect lane lines from real-time camera images fed from the front-end camera of the automobile. A basic flowchart of how a lane detection algorithm works to produce lane departure warning is shown in the figures.

2018 Mobileye EyeQ4[edit]

Mobileye claims 11 automakers will incorporate their EyeQ4 chip that enables L2+ and L3 autonomous systems. This would collectively represent more than 50% of the auto industry.[20] Level 2 automation is also known as "hands off": this system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). Level 3 is also known as "eyes off": the driver can safely turn their attention away from driving, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie.[21] Will launch in 2018 and 2019.

Average selling price for the EyeQ4 chip to auto makers is about $450 U.S. dollars.[22]

Sample of level 2 automated cars[edit]

Because all of these vehicles also have adaptive cruise control that can work in tandem with lane centering, this meets the SAE standard for level 2 automation.

Sample of vehicles with lane centering ability
Manufacturer Sample of vehicles Branding for lane
Fiat-Chrysler Maserati brand[23]
Ford 2019 Ford Edge[24][25][26], 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, 2019 Ford Focus[27][28][29] Lane centering
GM 2018 CT6 Super Cruise Only on approved freeways[30]

Uses eye tracking system, which does not require driver to hold steering wheel.

Honda 2019 Honda Pilot[31][32] Honda Sensing: Lane keeping Assist System[33][34] Between 45 mph and 90 mph[35]
2019 Acura MDX[36] AcuraWatch Only at higher speeds[37]
Hyundai Late 2018 for 2019 model car(s)[38] Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA2)
Kia 2018 Stinger[39] 2019 Kia Niro[40] Lane Follow Assist[41] Top Speed 130 kph, 81 mph
Mazda Lane Trace Can be activated at speeds above 60 km/h[42]
Nissan 2018 Leaf, Rogue[43][44]

2019 Altima[45][46][47]

Propilot Assist Can handle stop and go traffic if stopped for less than 4 seconds[48][49]
Subaru Japan only, then expanding Touring Assist Plans to bring as a standard feature to all cars except some sports cars[50]
Tesla Model S, X and 3 Autopilot, Autosteer AutoPilot 1 (2014 - October 2016) AutoPilot 2 (October 2016 - Present)

Works at all speeds other than at certain margins above posted speed limits.

As of 2018, requires driver to hold steering wheel every 30 to 60 seconds.

Toyota 2019 Corolla Hatchback[51][52] 2019 Rav4[53]

2019 Lexus ES[54]

Lane Tracing Assist[55] Video[56]
VW 2018 Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Top speed: 37.3 mph, 60 km/h[57]
2019 Audi A8[58] 2019 Traffic Jam Pilot[59] Level 3 Autonomy. Germany first. Not for U.S.A. in 2019. Top speed: 37.3 mph, 60 km/h[60]
2019 Audi A6[61]

2020 Porsche Taycan[62]

Tour Assist[63] Top speed 155 mph
Volvo XC40[64] XC60[65][66] XC90[67] Pilot Assist II[68]

Nissan Propilot[edit]

Propilot assists with acceleration, steering and braking input under single lane highway driving conditions.[69] Propilot keeps the car centered in the lane, handles stop-and-go traffic if stopped for less than 4 seconds[70], helps maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a safe distance to the vehicle ahead. Propilot can follow curves.[71] Propilot utilizes a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and an electronic control module. A Traffic Sign Recognition system provides drivers with the most recent speed limit information detected by a camera unit located on the windshield in front of the inside rearview mirror. The information from detected signs is displayed.

In a review from ExtremeTech, Propilot worked well in 1,000 miles of testing and only on some twisty sections did it require driver intervention.[72] During Euro NCAP 2018 testing Propilot failed some tests as did all other systems tested.[73][74]

Evaluating Autonomy, IIHS examines driver assist featurers[edit]
Quote from David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer:

We're not ready to say yet which company has the safest implementation of Level 2 driver assistance, but it's important to note that none of these vehicles is capable of driving safely on its own...

The report indicated that only the Tesla Model 3 stayed within the lane on all 18 trials.

Quote from the report:

The evidence for safety benefits of active lane-keeping systems isn't as pronounced as for ACC. Still, the potential to prevent crashes and save lives is large. IIHS research shows that preventing lane-departure crashes could save nearly 8,000 lives in a typical year...

Auto brake test[edit]

Quote from the report:

One series involved driving at 31 mph toward a stationary vehicle target with ACC off and autobrake turned on to evaluate autobrake performance. Only the two Teslas hit the stationary target in this test.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]