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Mitsubishi Outlander wins safety award for radar system

Mitsubishi Outlander wins safety award for radar system
Tristan Honeywill

It’s good to see some of the less well-known Japanese brands doing some brilliant work on advanced technologies, not just giants such as Toyota. Besides its 2012 five-star safety rating, the Mitsubishi Outlander has just received an award from Euro NCAP for its autonomous emergency braking system.

The Outlander’s long-ranged radar system may be basic – it’s just a single 77Ghz radar, while some manufacturers use systems with a combination of short and long-ranged radar – but Euro NCAP says that it performs well.

The Mitsubishi Forward Collision Mitigation system works in town and at higher speeds of up to 180km/h (110mph). The radar behind the front grille detects objects up to 200m ahead and gauges whether there is a risk of collision. If there is, the warnings escalate as the risk increases until the system eventually applies the brakes with full force.

After studying accident statistics in Germany, Mitsubishi estimates that if all cars were fitted with the technology it could prevent 12% of slight injuries, 3% of severe injuries and about 1% of deaths each year.

How good is it really?

Euro NCAP’s laboratory found that it worked as Mitsubishi claims. At speeds up to 30kmh (18mph) it prevents collisions with stationary objects. At speeds up to 60kmh (37mph), it stopped the car from hitting other moving vehicles. In other tests, it helped to reduce the speed at which crashes took place.

 

 

The big worry with systems like this is that they could activate when you don’t want them to. With a single radar this is more of a concern as you don’t have a second radar double-checking things. However, Mitsubishi has balanced the sensitivity of the system to maximise its effectiveness when needed and to minimise irritating false alarms. The company has also tested the system on public roads to ensure these have been minimised.

How much does it cost?

The base Outlander GX2 five-star model starts at £23,699, but you need to buy the fully-loaded GX5 version to have. Mitsubishi Forward Collision Mitigation on board. That starts at £33,999, but with such a strong technology offering Mitsubishi is competing against premium brands – for now at least.

Mitsubishi has made enormous progress with the Outlander. Its predecessor scored just four stars in its 2009 crash test. Now a five-star car with the latest crash avoidance technologies available, the Outlander has become a serious contender in the crossover market.

 

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