"I never saw him!" How many times have police officers heard that one, after someone plays bumper cars with real automobiles, bikes, kids, pedestrians, dogs, etc?
To help reduce the frequency of those incidents, Infiniti introduced their Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) option this year. It provides the driver with both visual and tactile warnings of trouble astern.
When the driver selects reverse, sensors directly behind and off the rear corners of the car scan the area for crossing traffic and stationary objects. If an object is present, flashing lights in the side-view mirrors, in the center dash display and three audible beeps indicate an obstacle. If the driver ignores that message by not stopping, the car automatically applies the brakes momentarily. After a few seconds, though, the driver has to apply the brake more fully to keep the car stopped.
Similarly, if the driver is applying throttle rather than the brakes when the system is generating the warning, the accelerator pedal pushes back. If the driver resists that warning, the brake pedal is not applied. Since the system is aimed at parking lot and driveway assistance, it is only active below 5 mph.
The BCI system is bundled with the $1,900 Driver Assistance Package and also requires the $3,000 Premium Plus navigation, traffic info and voice recognition package.
We tested it and it worked just as advertised. Editor-in-Chief David Kiley even put himself potentially in harms way, walking into the rear area of the car. The system worked perfectly, which made it a finalist for Technology of the Year.