What is Chevy Safety Assist?

Advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) are increasingly available as standard equipment on modern cars, trucks, and SUVs. Often, they are packaged together as a group with a single name that defines the collection of technologies. Chevy Safety Assist is one of the latest ones to debut, offered as standard equipment on the Chevrolet Equinox and Trailblazer, and coming soon to other models the company offers. 

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS Red Action

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Initially, Chevy Safety Assist includes forward collision warning (FCW) with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW), lane-keeping assistance (LKA), a following distance indicator, and automatic high-beam headlights. Chevrolet does offer additional safety features on its vehicles, but these six technologies comprise Chevy Safety Assist.

You could consider the FCW with pedestrian detection to be the core component of Chevy Safety Assist. It alerts the driver when the vehicle is approaching an obstacle or a pedestrian, warning him or her that braking or evasive action might be necessary.

If the driver ignores this warning, the AEB can automatically brake the vehicle for the driver. At lower speeds, AEB can help to prevent a collision. At higher speeds, AEB can slow the vehicle before a collision, reducing speed at the moment of impact.

Working in tandem, the LDW and LKA systems try to prevent unintended lane departures. The LDW provides haptic and or audible sounds to alert the driver if the vehicle is drifting out of the marked lane. The LKA can prevent a lane departure by gently guiding the vehicle back into the intended lane of travel. If a driver is actively steering out of the lane, or is signaling a lane change, LKA will not prevent such actions.

It is vital to note that LDW and LKA are not as effective in areas with limited, faint, or no line markings. I found this out the hard way when I was in a construction zone with multiple faded and temporary lines. It also will not work if snow or dirt obscures the lane lines. 

Utilizing Chevy Safety Assist’s forward-looking cameras and sensors, the following distance indicator monitors vehicles in front and warns you when you’re too close to traffic ahead. The following distance indicator is often adjustable based on driving conditions, weather, and speed. It is not the same thing as adaptive cruise control, which automatically maintains a specific distance between your vehicle and those up ahead.

Thanks to a small sensor located in the windshield, Chevy Safety Assist also includes IntelliBeam headlights. The sensor detects the headlights of oncoming traffic or taillights of a vehicle you are following and adjusts the headlamps between low-beam and high-beam illumination. IntelliBeam does not move the headlamps from side to side as the steering wheel turns.

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Chevrolet rolled out Chevy Safety Assist on the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Trailblazer, making it standard equipment on all trim levels. By 2023, Chevrolet plans to include Chevy Safety Assist on a wide variety of its nameplates.

In the meantime, similar features can be found in the Driver’s Confidence Package 1 on many Chevrolet models. More features – including blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and lane-change warning – are available with the Driver Confidence 2 Package.

And always remember: None of these features is a substitute for paying full attention to the road.

Chevrolet provided the information for this article. It was accurate on June 18, 2020 but may have changed since then.