DETROIT -- General Motors is introducing a pedestrian-avoidance system on the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, the latest example of active-safety features proliferating on mainstream vehicles.
The system uses a camera positioned behind the windshield that scans for pedestrians and will alert the driver of a pending collision, applying the brakes automatically at the last second to avoid an impact or reduce its severity.
Unlike other crash-avoidance setups, this one uses only a camera and software, rather than coupling a camera or sensors with radar. That helps keep the cost down to a few hundred dollars, which allows GM to offer the technology on lower-priced vehicles.
"The camera technology allows us to put it on more vehicles,” John Capp, GM's director of global vehicle safety, said in an interview at GM's proving grounds here. “We can offer technologies that heretofore you had to step up to a radar package that maybe not all customers would want."
GM officials would not say how the feature will be priced. More details are expected in coming months on the safety packages that will be offered on the next-gen Malibu, which goes on sale in the fourth quarter. The pedestrian-braking feature also will be offered on the Cadillac CT6 sedan that goes on sale by early 2016.