Haptic seat technology a first in full-size pickup segment

The all-new 2014 Sierra arrives this summer with available advanced active safety features never offered to full-size pickup truck owners, including Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. The manner by which alerts from the system are delivered to the driver is equally innovative, thanks to GMC’s optional Safety Alert Seat.

With the Safety Alert Seat, Sierra owners get feedback transmitted as a vibration through the surface of the driver’s seat bottom cushion. When the Lane Departure Warning system’s camera detects the Sierra is leaving a lane without a turn signal active in that direction, a vibration in the left or right seat bolster directs the driver’s attention to the side of the lane encroachment. When a potential collision is detected ahead by the Forward Collision Alert system, both sides of the seat vibrate.

“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” said General Motors Active Safety Technical Fellow Raymond Kiefer. “Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction provides an effective and intuitive way to cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience.”

According to Kiefer, GM research shows that the seat may direct driver attention to the location of a crash threat more quickly and accurately than beeping alerts.

Forward Collision Alert uses a camera behind the windshield to monitor traffic ahead and estimate time to collision. A green vehicle-shaped icon on the instrument cluster lets the driver know the system detects a vehicle ahead. When the Sierra gets too close to a vehicle ahead, the icon turns orange. When approaching a vehicle too rapidly, red lights flash on the windshield and the driver is alerted either audibly or through the optional Safety Alert Seat.

Using the same sophisticated camera technology, Lane Departure Warning uses an icon of a vehicle crossing a dotted lane marker and shines green when detecting a lane ahead at speeds above 35 mph. The icon glows amber and flashes when a warning is active. Both Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning can be deactivated if the driver desires. Both, along with the Safety Alert Seat, are available on select trim levels.

Sierra’s other active safety features include standard StabiliTrak and optional technologies like a Rear Vision Camera and Front and Rear Park Assist. Sierra also benefits from available trailering safety technologies like Trailer Sway Control and an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller.

In addition to active safety features, the 2014 Sierra features six standard air bags and high-strength steel in the A-pillars, B-pillars, roof rails and other body structures to create a solid and protected safety cage around the passenger cabin.

“The 2014 Sierra is our most capable light-duty pickup truck ever,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “With a full array of advanced features that protect owners before, during and after a collision, it’s also our safest.”

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