The state-of-the-art technology and pleasure at the wheel put All-new Megane E-TECH Electric at the top of its class when it comes to driver comfort and all-round safety. It has new technology covering more use cases – including semi-autonomous driving, context-aware adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning – and they all add up to make mobility on roads safer and more sustainable. But how were these systems designed? We asked Rudy and Maxime, two driver assistance experts at Renault Group.
Staying at the cutting edge is a strategic issue when you are designing driver assistance systems. Systems evolve very fast in this field. When we start designing a system, we have to be able to see five years into the future to be at the top of the range when the vehicle reaches dealerships.
There are dozens of engineers and technicians, and thousands of kilometres of test drives in France and the rest of Europe behind the new features in All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric. During the design phase, digital simulations shed light on the target performance levels, before the prototype vehicles were built. Once the prototype vehicles were ready, further tests were carried out to check the data.
It was cooperation between the Amenities, Fine-Tuning and Systems teams that pushed performance and safety to the highest levels while maximising the systems’ robustness. This pooling of efforts and experts is a key to making sure that the various systems kick in when they have to, and respond properly to the situation.
All-new Megane E-TECH Electric comes with a whopping 26 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADASs)
All-new Megane E-TECH Electric was designed with ADASs that enable the driver to stay safe in all the circumstances that arise on the road. It has a context camera, three environment cameras, a blind spot sensor, and ultrasound sensors in the front and rear bumpers. These features, combined with the smart data built into the vehicle, deal with all situations ranging from motorway driving to tight parking. All-new Megane E-TECH Electric’s 26 ADASs provide unparalleled safety.
What puts All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric in a class by itself is the way its driver assistance systems complement each other. It comes with systems that will switch on in cities, for example to brake the car, and others that will start up on motorways or secondary roads, at higher speeds, for instance to steer the car.
The Active Driver Assist (motorway and traffic) system, which is already available in the Renault range, has been upgraded for All-new Megane E-TECH Electric. It now uses streamed maps that update when and as events occur on the road. The vehicle’s cameras, geolocation data and streamed maps provide drivers with a full range of real-life information on the state of the road, speed limit and upcoming roundabouts, as well as slow traffic, jams and dangerous turns ahead.
All-new Megane E-TECH Electric now uses streamed maps that update when and as events occur on the road.
Active Driver Assist combines contextual adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and Lane Keeping Assist, so All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric can adapt its speed automatically when it is reaching a roundabout then speed up when it exits it. Active Driver Assist also keeps the car at a safe distance from the vehicle in front, slowing down when it is too near and speeding up when the road opens up again.
Active Driver Assist also includes the Traffic Sign Recognition and Speed Alert system, another safety feature built into All-new Megane E-TECH Electric. The system reads the signs and compares the figures on them with the data in the navigation system to provide the most accurate information, then automatically keeps the vehicle’s speed within the limits. The vehicle will even slow down if there are no roadside speed signs, for example at the entrance to a village, using the information on the streamed map.
All-new Megane E-TECH Electric comes with a variety of driver assistance systems to avoid collisions and keep the car on the road, including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lake Keeping Assist (LKA) and Emergency Lane Keeping Assist (ELKA).
The Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver if they inadvertently cross a solid or broken line, using a camera on the windscreen (behind the central rear-view mirror).
The Blind Spot Warning comes on at 15 km/h and uses a light to alert the driver that there are other moving vehicles hidden from view.
The Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) system is another important driver assistance feature. It is active between 65 km/h and 160 km/h and steers the car back into its lane if it crosses a solid or broken line without the driver indicating.
Using the data from the front camera and side radars, the vehicle also automatically adjusts its course if the system senses an impending collision when the driver changes lanes or overtakes (Emergency Lane Keeping Assist).
An entirely new driver assistance system has been added to All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric: Rear Automatic Emergency Braking. Using the ultrasound sensors at the back of the car, the system flashes lights and makes sounds to let the driver know of any obstacles in its way (a pedestrian, cyclist, post, etc.). If the driver does not brake, the vehicle does so automatically to avoid the collision. This system is active when the car is reversing at 3 km/h to 10 km/h. Another system helps the driver reverse onto the road by warning them of any incoming obstacles behind the car.
Parking can be a nightmare for drivers trying to squeeze into a tight spot. All-new Megane E-TECH Electric provides unparalleled safety in its parking assistance systems. Using the four cameras built into the vehicle, the new Around View Monitor 3D system provides a 360° view of the surroundings, so the driver can see the car and everything near it on a touchscreen and manoeuvre effortlessly into the spot. The Full Auto Park feature is self-explanatory: the car steers, advances, reverses and stops all by itself.
The reversing camera also makes parking easier. The screen displays the feed from the camera when the driver puts the vehicle into reverse and zooms automatically on the last few centimetres of the bumper for even greater accuracy. The screen also displays outlines to make parking simpler and safer.
Fireman Access is the result of one-of-a-kind cooperation between Renault Group and the fire department, and has been built into the electric vehicles in the range since 2010. This breakthrough involves a trap door that firefighters can use to drown a battery fire rapidly – in 5 minutes instead of 1 to 3 hours if the vehicle does not have this system.
The vehicle also has a QR code that responders can scan in the event of an accident to ascertain that the vehicle is electric, then retrieve information about its architecture so that they can rescue occupants as swiftly as possible.
The trap door that firefighters can use to drown a battery fire rapidly
This array of ground-breaking features makes All-new Renault Megane E-TECH Electric a safe car that combines protection with driving pleasure. It is connected, committed, sustainable and engineered to keep its occupants and other people on the road safe.