From time to time, I describe the audible collision warning systems fitted to ever-more autonomous modern cars as “parked van spotters”. When asked by a passenger what calamity the blaring tone indicates, it often seems the most appropriate answer, given that a vehicle parked at the roadside is most often the cause.
Thankfully, Honda’s combination of cameras, short-range ‘lidar’ (laser radar) and radar technologies seems better judged.
The City-Brake Active system, which will apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision at up to 18mph, is standard on all Civic Tourers. The system, having been introduced across the board to not only improve safety for occupants and to score highly in the all-important Euro NCAP tests, also drops the model down two insurance groups (to 17E).
A range of further safety devices, including the audible collision detection warning system, is available as part of an optional Driver Assist Safety Package, which is priced at £600 for Civic Tourers of SE grade and above.
Our EX Plus came fitted with the full gamut of assistance: frontal collision warning; lane departure warning (LDW); traffic sign recognition; blind spot information; cross traffic monitor (CTM) – which warns of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a parking space – and high-beam support (HBS).
Too much time spent driving down rural roads, where straying over a white line is not uncommon, often leads me to turn off the LDW, but the CTM and HBS have both proved themselves real assets.
One piece of technology billed as safety equipment that may help on those rural runs, however, is Agile Handling Assist.
Aiming to improve agility and stability in cornering situations, the system subtly brakes the inner wheels to help direct the car into a bend.
While the Civic Tourer is not the most dynamic car out there, the result is a fairly responsive steer, something keen drivers may miss when the rise of driver assistance systems leads to the widespread adoption of fully autonomous vehicles.