The safety of its customers – and of every other road user – is of paramount importance to Mitsubishi. The firm’s advanced safety technology and the tough build of all its cars proves this. Developments to these features are always being made by Mitsubishi to offer even better protection, and here we introduce some of its most important current-generation safety technologies.
Active technology refers to any system that aims to prevent an accident in the first instance. The intelligent innovations explained below work behind the scenes to stabilise the vehicle, optimise its handling, and maximise your control.
ABS is a tried and tested vehicle safety system that virtually every model on the market includes as a standard feature. Its function is to prevent the wheels from locking up when you brake heavily and when driving on slippery surfaces. You can therefore stay in command of the vehicle and steer to avoid a collision.
The system achieves this by using sensors to recognise when one or multiple wheels is beginning to lock up. The braking pressure is then moderated at this wheel or wheels to keep them turning. As well as maintaining control of the vehicle, ABS also brings it to a controlled halt as quickly as possible.
ACL comes into play during night journeys to illuminate more of the road. It links with the turn signals at speeds of up to 25mph and also reacts to the steering motion to shine a beam in the direction you turn. It uses high-intensity 35-watt halogen bulbs which make sure that obstacles, pedestrians and other road users are seen clearly.
AFS is a similar system to ACL but works on the open road during the hours of darkness. The technology responds to the direction of a turn to shine an additional beam of light on the same path. The light reacts automatically as the vehicle accelerates or the turning angle increases, to maximise your view and make night time driving safer at any speed.
ASC helps you to remain in control of the vehicle in situations that threaten your safety, so you are better placed to avoid them. This clever technology recognises when the car doesn’t have enough traction at each tyre when on slippery surfaces and when a sudden manoeuvre destabilises the vehicle.
On a greasy surface, the traction control element will slow the wheel that is spinning and send more power to a wheel or wheels that have traction, to keep the car moving forward. It also works in harmony with ABS to avoid wheel spin on ice, snow or water. The stability control aspect corrects oversteer or understeer by braking the left or right-sided wheels depending on the situation. By doing so, you stay in your lane and out of harm’s way.
e-Assist brings together three separate active systems to support you. They are: Forward Collision Mitigation System (FCM), Lane Departure Warning System (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC).
ACC and FCM uses a millimetre-wave radar unit mounted behind the front grille to monitor your distance from the vehicle in front and the speed of travel. FCM will give visual and audible warnings if it detects that a collision with the vehicle in front is imminent. If it then judges that an impact is unavoidable, emergency braking will be applied to reduce the forces of impact. ACC utilises the same sensors to maintain a pre-set gap between you and the vehicle you are following.
The LDW system employs a camera positioned at the top of the windscreen. It reads the lane markings at speeds at or above 40mph and delivers warnings if you start to leave the lane.
Enhancing your field of vision is the rain-light sensor. This operates the Rain-Sensing Automatic Windshield Wipers which switch on automatically if raindrops are sensed on the front windshield. Low, high, or intermittent mode is engaged depending on the amount of rain that is detected. The sensitivity of the technology can be adjusted using a dial on the dashboard.
The accompanying Automatic Light Control equips the vehicle with illuminance sensors which detect any brightness ahead, such as that coming from an approaching car. The headlights are turned on and off without your input to give you full visibility and prevent oncoming motorists from being dazzled.
Hill starts are easier and safer when HSA is on board. It holds the brakes on when you lift your foot from the pedal to move over to the accelerator and pull away on a slope. When you do press the accelerator, the technology instantly disengages the brakes. HSA identifies when you have stopped on an incline using multiple sensors and the vehicle’s ECU. It also functions when you are reversing up a sloping road.
Whereas active technology prevents accidents, passive technology protects vehicle occupants if they are involved in one. Generally, they strengthen the car’s body and lower the chance of injury inside it. Certain systems also reduce the effect of an accident on pedestrians and other motorists as is explained below.
Compatibility has been developed for the safety of you and everyone else that drives. When two vehicles collide head-on, the higher of the two (e.g. an SUV which impacts with a city car) will be hit at a lower height, which can diminish the body structure’s ability to absorb the energy. To correct the issue, Mitsubishi has added extra structures on the front and side of selected cars to help engage the body structure. This both reduces the effect of a collision on you inside the cabin and the vehicle you make contact with.
Passive occupant protection is maximised by the manufacturer’s RISE body. Extensive crash testing and analysis helped Mitsubishi to design the body for excellent energy absorption and high cabin integrity. Crumple zones at the front and rear take the brunt of impact forces to safeguard you and your passengers. Between these areas is the rigid cabin which creates an ultra-strong shell around you through robust side pillars engineered from high tensile steel.
RISE complements the compatibility feature by protecting you in the event of an incident involving vehicles of any size.
Accompanying the seatbelts, compatibility, and RISE structure are SRS Airbags. There are six bags in total: front driver and passenger, side driver and passenger, and side curtain airbags. They inflate instantaneously in the event of a frontal or side-on collision to reduce the chance of injury to those seated in the front or back. By inflating on each side within the cabin they prevent the head and neck from coming into contact with the doors, dashboard, or windows.
Driver Side SRS Knee Airbags are fitted in addition to the SRS Airbags for another layer of protection. During a frontal collision the legs and knees can rise and strike the steering wheel. The knee airbag restricts the movement of your legs to prevent injury.