Silverado Adds Preventive, Protective Safety Technologies

2013-05-05


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SAN ANTONIO – The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado’s safety systems incorporate new technologies designed to protect the driver and passengers through all three phases of vehicle safety: before, during and after a collision.

Two available active safety technologies – forward collision alert and lane departure warning – are new to Silverado and are segment firsts. They use a forward-mounted camera to identify and warn drivers when they’re at risk of colliding with another vehicle or leaving their lane. Also, the all-new convex driver’s side spotter mirror assists drivers to help avoid crashes.

New applications of advanced, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, along with new safety belt lap pretensioners, help provide additional occupant protection in case a crash does occur.

“We know our full-size truck customers might haul lumber and drywall during the week and take kids to baseball practice on evenings and weekends,” said Dave Degeneffe, the Silverado’s engineering group manager for safety integration. “Therefore, they expect the same high levels of safety technology as a family vehicle.”

Silverado’s numerous safety evaluations included extensive computer simulations with math modeling and physical crash testing using a family of crash test dummies GM helped develop. 

Before: preventing crashes in the first place
The 2014 Silverado’s full complement of vehicle safety technologies are designed to help the driver keep control of the truck and prevent collisions.

Available forward collision alert technology helps prevent frontal crashes by alerting the driver when the truck is closing in on a vehicle ahead too quickly, giving him or her additional time to react and avoid a crash. Forward collision alert tracks the vehicle ahead using a forward-facing camera and a three-step visual and sound alert:

  • Step one: A green telltale light illuminates in the instrument cluster to let the driver know the system is on and tracking the vehicle ahead.
  • Step two: An amber light cautions the driver that the driver may be following much too closely, or tailgating
  • Step three: Flashing red lights reflect up in the windshield along with warning beeps that a collision may be imminent. 

If the truck is equipped with the segment-exclusive Safety Alert Seat, the driver can choose to replace warning beeps for all crash avoidance features with directional Safety Alert Seat vibrations through their vehicle settings. Forward collision alert is available on LTZ and High Country extended and crew cab models; and on a limited basis on regular cab LT models.

Available Lane Departure Warning technology alerts the driver when the truck drifts over a lane line when traveling at least 35 mph. Like Forward Collision Alert, it uses a green light in the instrument cluster to let the driver know the system detects a lane ahead.

If the driver drifts over a detected lane line without using the vehicle’s turn signal, the amber light in the cluster flashes and beeps sound (or either the left or right side of the driver seat vibrates, depending on the direction of the lane drift). Drivers can turn off the Lane Departure Warning system via a switch on the center stack.

Another feature new to the 2014 Silverado – convex driver’s side spotter mirror – helps address blind spots. They’re standard on Silverado LT, LTZ and High Country models.

Technologies introduced on the previous generation Silverado, including GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill-start assist, are on this latest generation as well. Further confidence comes from an available rear vision camera and front and rear park assist.

Standard on all light-duty Silverado models, StabiliTrak is always on, providing full stability, traction and ABS control whenever the vehicle operates in forward gears. The system intervenes with brake pressure, engine torque and, on 4WD Autotrac models, adjusts front to rear drive torque distribution to when it senses one or more of the wheels slipping or when the vehicle is not following the direction being steered.

On 4WD models, StabiliTrak uses brake control and engine torque management to precisely manage the speed of each wheel as well as torque across the front and rear axles. On 2WD models, the system precisely controls the speed at each wheel and manages side-to-side torque on the rear differential.

Other Silverado chassis control systems that help drivers avoid crashes include:

  • Trailer sway control that works with StabiliTrak to provide the driver with additional assistance when towing a trailer. When it senses trailer sway, it intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path. It uses the electric trailer brakes when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness of the truck 
  • Hill Start Assist that is automatically engaged when sensors detect the vehicle is on grade of about 5 percent or greater. Particularly helpful when pulling a trailer, it holds the brakes for about 1.5 seconds or until the accelerator pedal is pressed, preventing rollback
  • Four-wheel, four-channel, antilock disc brakes (ABS) that help provide straight, more controlled stops under most road conditions by preventing wheel lock-up.

Available Front and Rear Park assist uses ultrasonic sensors located in the bumpers to let the driver know when there are objects directly in front of or behind their vehicle, with beeps (or seat vibrations) and visual displays. On the 2014 Silverado, if the truck is towing a trailer, the driver can turn off the hitch area sensors by activating the tow bar option in their vehicle settings.

Also helpful when trailering is the Rear Vision Camera. It is standard on uplevel Silverado models and available on other models, except Work Truck. It provides a view of the area immediately behind the vehicle in the audio system’s color display. 

During: protecting precious cargo
Sometimes, the hardest-working safety features in a truck are those the customer can’t see. In the 2014 Silverado, the passenger compartment’s high-strength steel safety cage and strategically placed crush zones help absorb and divert crash energy away from the occupant compartment.

The Silverado’s A- and B-pillars, roof rails and some body reinforcements use more high-strength steel, as well as ultra-high-strength steel in the rocker panels and some body parts. Hydroformed front frame rails with crush management darts further help control the amount of crush in a collision.

The Silverado also was designed to help protect other vehicles that may collide with it. Vehicle compatibility brackets mounted under the front frame rails engage the structure of lower vehicles in a way that better manages vehicle crush.

New lap safety belt pretensioners
Keeping occupants properly secured in a crash can reduce the risk of serious injuries. The 2014 Silverado features new, standard lap belt pretensions in the front-seat outboard safety belts.

Similar to shoulder belt pretensioners, the lap belt pretensioner reduces slack in the lap belt to help keep occupants in place during a collision. The safety belt buckle is also designed to lock during a collision and not allow webbing to move through the shoulder or lap belt. This helps balance the restraint systems in frontal as well as rollover collisions.

Other standard occupant protection features include:

  • Three-point safety belts in in all rear seating positions
  • Front outboard safety belt retractor pretensioners that automatically reduce slack in the shoulder belts, helping to keep occupants upright and reduce forward movement
  • Energy management system retractors that gradually let out the front outboard pretensioned safety belt to manage occupant energy and limit forces to the occupant in a frontal collision
  • Six standard air bags and 360-degree sensor system, including:
    • Dual-stage frontal air bags work with the safety belts and deploy in one or two levels to help reduce injury to the driver and outside front passenger in certain frontal collisions. A Passenger Sensing System helps detect the presence of a properly seated front passenger and determine if the frontal air bag should be allowed to inflate
    • Head-curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection deploy from the roof rail area for outboard passengers
    • Seat-mounted side-impact air bags help protect the chest and pelvic regions of the driver and outside front passenger in a side-impact, absorbing as much crash energy as possible
  • LATCH system helps customers properly install a child seat using a top tether anchor and two lower anchors located between the seat cushion and seatback.

After: OnStar to the rescue
GM’s OnStar in-vehicle communications system provides critical, post-collision assistance to Silverado customers using sensors, wireless technology and the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network to automatically send help to a crash, regardless of air bag deployment.

Immediately after a collision, an OnStar advisor is connected to the vehicle to provide assistance. Even if there is no response, the advisor can pinpoint the vehicle location using GPS technology and request emergency help. The advisor can also relay the severity and type of crash to first responders so they are better prepared when they arrive at the scene.

Other OnStar services include Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands-free Calling and OnStar RemoteLink App, which allows customers to control and track certain vehicle functions with a smartphone or computer. A six-month trial subscription to the OnStar Directions and Connections plan is available on the Silverado Work Truck and standard on all other Silverado models.

Other post-crash functions that assist occupants and first responders include automatic fuel system shutoff and door unlock; and automatic illumination of interior and flashing hazard lights.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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