What is AcuraWatch?

AcuraWatch is a collection of driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies that Acura hopes will, in its words, “create a zero-collision society with cars and SUVs that make the roads a safer place for everyone.” Those are high ideals, indeed.

2021 Acura TLX AcuraWatch

Using a radar unit housed behind the Acura logo on a vehicle’s grille and a high-resolution camera mounted behind the windshield, AcuraWatch includes a basic set of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) focused on speed and distance maintenance, collision warning and braking, and lane-keeping assistance. And with the introduction of the 2021 Acura TLX, AcuraWatch adds several new features to its arsenal.

However, AcuraWatch does not equip an Acura with one of the most useful collision avoidance technologies available.

What does AcuraWatch Include? - Find the best Acura deals!

AcuraWatch includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed following capability, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, a multi-angle reversing camera, and a Road Departure Mitigation system designed to prevent a vehicle from unintentionally leaving the pavement. Starting with the 2021 TLX sedan, AcuraWatch adds a driver monitoring system, a traffic-sign recognition system, and traffic-jam assistance.

Perhaps most important, AcuraWatch equips an Acura car or SUV with a forward collision warning system that provides aural and visual alerts that a collision might occur. The intention is to prompt the driver to take corrective action as soon as is possible.

If driver response to the potential collision is slow or not forthcoming, Acura’s Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), can use full braking power to slow the vehicle down prior to impact. According to Acura, “the goal of the CMBS is to alert the driver to apply the brakes. The system assists but is not expected to always avoid a collision on its own.” This technology does not work at speeds under 3 mph.

Adaptive cruise control lets you set a desired speed between 20 and 95 mph, along with a desired distance between you and the car in front of you. It will automatically adjust your Acura’s speed and braking to maintain a proper following distance. At speeds under 20 mph, most Acura models will also come to a full stop with traffic ahead. The exception to this rule is the Acura ILX, which does not have low-speed following capability.

The 2021 Acura TLX adds a new traffic-jam assistance system that automatically resumes travel when vehicles ahead move forward. In other models, the driver must tap on the accelerator to signal to the vehicle that traffic ahead has cleared.

AcuraWatch also includes a lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assistance system. Using the front-facing camera, the technology monitors lane markings on the road ahead. If it detects that you’re about to leave your lane without using your turn signal, it warns the driver to take action. If you allow the vehicle to drift over the lane markings, the system will steer the car back into the center of the lane. The Road Departure Mitigation system uses the same technology and can apply the brakes to help prevent the vehicle from leaving the pavement.

Note that Acura owners can, for the most part, decide which AcuraWatch technologies they wish to use, and which ones they wish to turn off.

What is Not Included in AcuraWatch?  - Find the best Acura deals!

AcuraWatch does not include a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. Studies show these two systems to be among those that drivers appreciate the most, but in order to get them on an Acura you must upgrade to the Technology Package on the MDX, RDX, and TLX, or the Premium Package on the ILX, to obtain this vitally useful feature.

What Acura Models Include AcuraWatch? - Find the best Acura deals!

Acura includes AcuraWatch on every one of its sedans and SUVs. Those models include the small ILX, the compact TLX, and the midsize RLX sedans, as well as the compact RDX and midsize MDX crossover SUVs. The NSX sports car does not include AcuraWatch.

The information in this article is from Acura. It was accurate on August 3, 2020, but may have changed since that date.