Paddle levers

All of the benefits and technical specifications of the automatic gearbox apply to the automatic gearbox with Tiptronic available with five or six switching points.
Tiptronic enables manual intervention in automatic operation once the selector lever is switched to a second shift gate (Tiptronic gate). The driver can shift up a gear by pushing the gear lever upwards and down a gear by pulling it downwards. Sometimes gears can also be shifted using the switch paddle on the steering wheel.
The Tiptronic offers the comfort of an automatic system and driving fun and sportiness of a manual gearbox. The system automatically switches up a gear when it reaches the engine speed limit to ensure safety when overtaking. The sporty driver benefits from switching down a gear and engine braking before a corner or when driving uphill.

Image of VW Golf A6 GTI Cabriolet paddle lever

‘Park Assist’ parking assist system 

The ‘Park Assist’ parking assist system automatically steers the vehicle in parallel parking spaces and parking bays and also helps manoeuvre out of parallel parking spaces. The system assists the driver by performing optimum steering wheel movements itself in order to park in reverse or travelling forwards (parking bays, depending on the vehicle) on the ideal path. ‘Park Assist’ automatically takes care of measuring the parking space, allocating the starting position and handling steering movements – all the driver needs to do is press on the accelerator and brake. They keep control of their vehicle at all times.

The driver activates the Park Assist system using the separate ‘Park Assist’ button in the centre console and then drives at a maximum of 40 km/h and a distance of 0.5 to 1.5 m from the roadside. ‘Park Assist’ scans in passing and on the right and left of the vehicle, e.g. on a one-way street, for available parking spaces.  The driver indicates which side of the road they wish to park on by activating the turn signal. If Park Assist detects a parking space that is at least 0.8 m longer than the vehicle (depending on the vehicle), the message ‘Parking space detected’ appears in the multifunction display. The driver is then guided into the right starting position and asked to put the vehicle into reverse. When the vehicle is put in reverse, the Park Assist system takes over steering and automatic steering control is activated. A message appears in the multifunction display to inform the driver: ‘Steering intervention active! Monitor surrounding area!’. Carefully pressing on the accelerator steers the vehicle into the parking space. The audio Park Distance Control and visual messages in the multifunction display signal reversing has come to an end. Additional images in the display encourage the driver to move forwards and, where necessary, in reverse again. The number of parking motions depends on the length or width of the parking space and the available space to manoeuvre. The shorter or narrow the parking space and the smaller the space to manoeuvre, the more parking motions are required. The system detects parking spaces of all kinds (e.g. On corners, at kerbsides or between trees).

The driver can override ‘Park Assist’ at any time.

See also:
Park Distance Control
Driver assist systems

A Volkswagen viewed from above, reverse parking sideways using the ‘Park Assist’ parking assist system

Park Distance Control  

The system helps the driver park and manoeuvre. Audio indications inform the driver of the remaining distance in front (depending on equipment), at the sides (depending on equipment), and to the rear.
The frequency of the audio signals increases depending on the distance from the obstacle. A distance of less than 30 cm from the obstacle activates a continuous audio signal.
Depending on the radio or radio navigation system, the distance from obstacles is also depicted visually on the display (OPS – optical parking system). In complex situations, the system makes life easier for the driver and can avoid unpleasant minor damage, within the system’s limitations. The driver is also assisted by what appears on the display. It shows obstacles in their exact position.
Manoeuvre braking is part of the Park Distance Control system and can prevent potential collisions or reduce the severity of collision by triggering emergency braking at the latest possible moment. The vehicle brakes to a standstill. The function is active at speeds of 1.5 km/h to 10 km/h in reverse and speeds of 2.5 km/h to 10 km/h during forward travel (depending on equipment). This can be deactivated either temporarily for the parking process or permanently, via the radio or radio navigation system.

See also:
‘Park Assist’ parking assist system
‘Rear View’ camera system
Driver assist systems

A Volkswagen T-Cross parking with the help of Park Distance Control. The sensor system is shown using an arrow.

Parking brake, electronic 

The electronic parking brake replaces the conventional handbrake with a switch in the dash panel. There is no conventional handbrake lever. This creates more storage space between the front seats. The electronic parking brake works using two electric motors with gears on the rear disc brakes. The mechanical components are arranged in such a way that they keep the parked vehicle secure even when vehicle voltage is lost. Indicator lamps in the instrument cluster and button indicate whether the parking brake is activated. An operating noise also indicates that the brake is applied.

As well as easy button operation, the electronic parking brake also offers additional comfort and safety functions, such as the dynamic parking brake auto release function and Auto Hold function.

See also:
Dynamic parking brake auto release function
Auto Hold function

VW Golf centre console, electronic parking brake detail

Passenger compartment  

The passenger compartment is the space where vehicle passengers are found. It forms a ‘rigid’ safety cage. Unlike the body's deformation zones (‘crumple zones’), it does not become deformed easily and can give occupants residual space in an accident. The behaviour of the passenger compartment is optimised using measures such as crash tests.

See also:
Crash test

Schematic diagram of the passenger compartment in a Volkswagen

Passive safety 

Passive safety refers to all constructive measures which service to protect vehicle occupants from injury or reduce the risk of such injury. The term refers in particular to collision behaviour and takes protection of other road users (partner protection) into account as well as self-protection.
As well as the seat belt system, some of the key passive safety features of modern vehicles include airbags, ‘crumple-resistant’ passenger compartments and front and rear crumple zones. They offer extensive protection by dissipating the force of the collision. Together with active safety features, all Volkswagen models offer outstanding all-round protection.

See also:
Crash test
Airbag
Belt tensioner
Passenger compartment
Active safety

Schematic diagram of the airbag in a Volkswagen

Pedestrian Monitoring  

Pedestrian Monitoring is an enhancement of the ‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system with City Emergency Braking System. Using two sensors in the front of the vehicle, a radar in the radiator grille and a camera in the mirror base, the system captures the area in front of the vehicle and records, within the system’s limitations, if a pedestrian suddenly walks out onto the road, for example. An audio and visual warning signal is immediately produced. If the vehicle does not brake, the driver is informed of the critical distance with a braking jolt, while at the same time, the vehicle is prepared to potentially brake hard. If there is no reaction from the driver, the system automatically performs emergency braking, within its limitations. This ideally makes it possible to avoid a collision, or at least  reduce its severity.

See also:
‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system

A pedestrian crossing the road in front of a VW Golf. The Pedestrian Monitoring sensor system is depicted using lines

Pedestrian protection  

Pedestrian protection is one of the key criteria in a vehicle’s external safety. Volkswagen designs its vehicles to ensure that other road users are exposed to as few dangers as possible. Volkswagen’s many pedestrian protection measures include special deformation elements in front bumpers, ensuring the maximum possible distance between the bonnet and engine and soft wings, some of which are also made from plastic. The aim of these measures is to minimise the risk of injury by ensuring the design of the ‘contact zones’ is as flexible as possible.

See also:
Crash test

A pedestrian crossing the road in front of a Volkswagen

Power steering 

See also:
Electrohydraulic power steering
Electromechanical power steering

Image of a VW Scirocco’s power steering

Proactive occupant protection system 

The proactive occupant protection system uses ESC and ‘Front Assist’ area monitoring system sensors to capture critical situations with greater potential for accidents.
If the system recognises this type of situation, the vehicle occupants and vehicle are prepared for a potential accident. Fastened front seat belts are tightened, driver and front passenger are fixed in position, and open windows and sunroof are closed, leaving just a narrow gap.
If the target status is reached again and the vehicle’s driving dynamics stabilise, the front seat belts are relaxed. The side windows and sunroof can be returned to their original position.

View of a Volkswagen from above, arrows indicate the proactive occupant protection system function

Progressive steering 

Progressive steering helps the driver steer. In comparison to conventional steering, much fewer turning motions of the steering wheel are required to turn it fully. The progressive gear ratio reduces the work of steering when driving into a parking space, for instance. Progressive steering also offers optimised, more direct and controlled steering behaviour, ensuring comfort in everyday life and driving dynamics on roads with lots of bends.

Schematic diagram of the progressive steering function

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