Put simply, Rear Cross Traffic Alert is a driver assistance system, which is designed to help make reversing out of perpendicular parking spaces much easier. Given the number of high sided vehicles such as vans and, more commonly, SUVs and MPVs in car parks these days, it’s often difficult to see clearly when edging back out of a space. As a result, bumps to the rear of cars when backing out of spaces are among those most commonly claimed for with insurers.
As well as being a vital safety aid, therefore, the presence of Rear Cross Traffic Alert will help reduce your insurance premium.
Most manufacturers now offer a Rear Cross Traffic Alert System on some of their cars, some of which are developed in house by the manufacturers. Others come from software and component suppliers such as Continental and Bosch, who are seen as the industry leaders in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
How does Rear Cross Traffic Alert work?
Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems use either radar or a combination of camera and radar technology to detect the presence of moving objects in the vicinity of a car’s rear bumper. As well as other vehicles, these can include smaller objects that are often harder to see, such as pedestrians, cyclists or animals.
The system is closely related to Blind Spot Alert systems, which use a similar type or radar system along the flanks of the vehicle to alert drivers to traffic they may not be able to see in their mirrors. In some of the latest systems, the same radars are used for both.
Normally, the system will issue a chime or a beep when it detects an object in its periphery, along with a visual warning if the car has an infotainment display screen.
Top five cars with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
The Qashqai has probably the most comprehensive safety kit of any family car on sale today, which is just another of the reasons why it’s one of the best selling cars in the country. Its Rear Cross Traffic Alert system is part of the Around View 360 package, which includes reversing cameras, blind spot warnings and a self-parking system.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert is just one of the new safety features that makes Britain’s best seller an even more compelling choice in the supermini market. The Ford system uses radar technology to issue an audible beep, which gets louder and faster if the driver continues with the manoeuvre.
Unusually, sports cars are notably lacking in Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems, yet they are often the models that would benefit from the technology the most, as their low-slung bodywork means visibility alongside taller vehicles is often compromised. The MX-5 has Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE safety pack, which includes the feature as standard.
The new Discovery is a big vehicle, and although it’s a pleasure to drive, squeezing it in and out of tight parking spots can be a challenge. As a result, Rear Cross Traffic Alert is part of the large SUV’s standard safety kit, taking some of the stress out of getting it in and out of a spot.
SEAT’s first family-sized crossover is also one of the best cars in its class, but its Rear Cross Traffic Alert is more than just a collision warning system. The Ateca’s driver assistance systems will also apply the brakes and halt the car if it detects a moving object and the driver doesn’t react. It’s clever stuff.