As the most autonomous car produced in the region, Jeep Compass points to the future
November 7, 2018 - Produced at the Jeep Automotive Plant in Goiana (PE, Brazil), the Jeep Compass is the most autonomous car ever made in Latin America. This road is just getting started, and the legislation itself still needs to be updated to allow more autonomous vehicles to circulate. But it's good to know that you already have the option of driving a car that helps you with such a task. In the case of the Compass, which is at level 1 automation, it works as follows: when you drive it, you can choose to let the car take care of the pedals for you while you take care of the steering wheel. That's right: the car accelerates and brakes by itself! For this, you simply need to choose the speed that you would like to develop and the car does its best to achieve that goal, respecting the cars that travel around you (you also choose the distance you prefer to maintain from the car in front of you). When parking, you can choose the opposite function: let the car do the steering while you take care of the pedals. In this case, the Compass itself tells you when you should change gears, accelerate or brake. It's the future knocking at your door!
But what is this "level 1 automation" all about? It’s the first step in the division of the SAE International rating table, which refers to the six levels of autonomous steering, or five. That’s because level 0 is reserved for common, non-autonomous vehicles. Even cars with automatic transmission and collision warning sensors, for example, are still considered level 0, because what characterizes an autonomous car is the steering. Check the infographic at the end of the text to see how we can classify cars that already have autonomous steering technologies.
Autonomous steering has many benefits. The main one is perhaps reducing accidents (both the number of accidents and the severity of the accidents, since 90% of them are caused by human error). Another benefit is the economy of both time and fuel. Autonomous cars consume, on average, about 40% less fuel compared to the average consumption of a human driver.
Levels 4 and 5 also have the potential to give you back an average of 56 minutes of your day for those of you who drive today, in addition to reducing traffic jams by up to 80% in cities. And there is one more benefit: it's the greatest democratization in the use of the car, because people of all ages and physical conditions can "drive" one without even having a license.
With ADAS (Advanced driver-assistance systems), the Compass offers a number of autonomous steering capabilities. Among them, there is the Emergency Braking, in which the vehicle has a sensor that monitors traffic. In the event of vehicle exposure to some type of risk, the system springs into action with the brakes, issuing an alert to the driver and, automatically, reducing the stopping time. The system has two modes of operation: up to 40 km/h the car will have a more abrupt stop. Anything over this speed and a slightly softer brake will be perceived. "This is a matter of safety, since there could be a car right behind or even as to not let the passenger suffer a major impact. Thus, it's a more reduced way of stopping", says Rodrigo Amaral, leader of FCA's Automotive Engineering project for Latin America. According to Amaral, after stopping, the system secures the vehicle for two seconds in order to ensure that the driver can regain control of the car. "It's important to remember that this feature only detects vehicles that are going in the same direction, and doesn't work with oncoming traffic", he adds.
The Compass also offers the possibility for the driver to couple automatic acceleration with braking. It's the so called Adaptive Cruise Control, which we mentioned above. "The chosen distance and speed are maintained in an adaptive way. In addition to this action, to keep the safe distance selected, the vehicle will also slow down if the car ahead reduces speed", says Rodrigo.