How does the involuntary lane change alert work?

Published 09/01/2020
alerta cambio involuntario de carril

One of the most cutting-edge innovations in car safety is the involuntary lane change alert. It is a system that is being added as an extra in more and more vehicles.

It aims to interpret as accurately as possible whether or not the driver has left the lane involuntarily due to a distraction. It does so by means of detecting the lines which separate the lanes and checking that they have been crossed without prior indication of the manoeuvre being given.

In recent years, approximately 30% of the people killed on Spanish roads have died as a direct result of vehicles leaving their lane. This system can therefore be very effective as a means of reducing the number of accidents.

Types of lane change alert systems

There are different systems which can be used in order for the vehicle to detect a potentially involuntary lane change and notify the driver.

  • One of the most widespread in use today is that of infrared sensors. The sensor detects the lines by means of an infrared light beam that is reflected in the paint which marks the lanes.
  • You may also be familiar with the use of video camera systems, based on obtaining and processing images. More and more brands are focusing on this system, as it is accurate and reliable. It is able to detect the positioning of the lanes and initiate corrective action before the driver even crosses the lines. It is also useful for other functions, such as detecting obstacles on the road or even identifying traffic signs. However, this system can also be annoying: it sometimes falsely interprets involuntary changes on roads with a lot of curves, although the driver has not crossed any line.
  • The most common alert system today is the laser scanner.It is the most effective in detecting the lines that separate the lanes, and it anticipates involuntary change. In addition, it offers a whole host of extra features, such as obstacle detection and cruise control.

Situations in which the involuntary lane change alert is activated

The main causes for this involuntary change to occur are:


Drowsiness and fatigue at the wheel are two of the main causes of traffic accidents. One of the situations in which the alert activates is precisely this, preventing you from drifting from your lane and colliding with other cars on the road. This system involves the vehicle emitting a visual and an acoustic signal.

Driver error

Involuntary lane change can also occur due to a driver’s mistake at the wheel. Together with drowsiness, errors are responsible for a large number of road accidents. An involuntary change alert system can save lives.

Gusts of wind

Lastly, it should be noted that driving on windy days can be dangerous: often one may not realize that the wind is changing the vehicle’s trajectory until a significant distance has been travelled!

Thanks to this system, you the driver will know if you have crossed over the lane lines.

The involuntary change alert system is one of the most revolutionary systems in the automobile sector. More and more companies are implementing it in their vehicles and it has met with great approval from drivers and safety experts.

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