Watch and Act

WRITTEN BY: Matt Taylor

When the stereo imaging camera in your D-MAX or MU-X isn’t saving your life, it’s just making driving easier. Here’s how.

Imagine having another set of eyes on the road and extra hands on the wheel, always ready to react and help react. Well, that’s exactly what Isuzu’s Intelligent Driver Assistance System (IDAS), does for its drivers.

It would be too easy, however, for me to focus this tech piece entirely on safety. “But isn’t that what IDAS is all about?”, I hear you ask. The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is no. It’s so much more than that, because before these systems are prompted to beep or flash at you to warn of danger, much less intervene, they’re designed to make our daily commute in traffic so much easier.

In fact, you could say that these are really comfort and convenience features that can also protect you when things get serious. Let’s take a deep dive into what’s really going on behind the scenes when we use one of my favourite IDAS features: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Lane Keep Assist (LKA).

To initiate the feature, you first toggle ‘Mode’ and set your desired speed and distance from the vehicle ahead of you. If you then enable LKA, the forward-facing stereo camera goes straight to work, creating a 3D image of the driving environment in front of your Isuzu. Its two lenses monitor the vehicle immediately ahead, making sure your speed and the distance between you is in check.

The camera also keeps an eye on the road markings, with onboard software able to distinguish between dotted, solid and even double white lines. This enables the LKA to gently centre your car in the middle of its lane at speeds above 60km/h.

There’s a chance you might have some initial trepidation about using ACC and LKA, but I can tell you that, with a mild leap of faith and some practice, I’ve found myself using both systems on each and every single drive.

If I’m stuck bumper-to-bumper, the ACC takes all the stress away from driving in a traffic jam. And when I’m out on those open motorways, LKA keeps me centred in the lane, even if I’m unexpectedly distracted by a piece of half-chewed banana to the side of the face, courtesy of one of my rocket-armed toddlers in the back seat.

Please note that neither ACC nor LKA should be used while towing. To go from ACC to traditional (non-adaptive) cruise control, simply press and hold the ‘Distance’ button for two seconds.

Other IDAS features that you should toggle off while towing include Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). To do this, press and hold the LKA ‘steering wheel’ button for two seconds (23MY only).

The IDAS in your Isuzu isn’t all about safety—or, at least, not directly. Its array of complementary systems often double up as comfort and convenience features so you too can get the most out of your new D-MAX or MU-X. And that's the case no matter how much errant fruit is fired at you from the back seat.

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IDAS features are designed to assist the driver, but should not be relied upon nor used as a substitute for safe driving practices. Feature operation may vary in different driving conditions. For more information and an explanation of features use and limitations refer to the Owner & Driver’s Manual or talk to your local Isuzu UTE Dealer.