FEATURE

Inside Tiger Woods’ $50,000 SUV: The Safety Features Of The Genesis GV80—Including 10 Airbags


In Tuesday’s press conference detailing the events of Tiger Woods’ car crash, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the 45-year-old golfer is “lucky to be alive” and credited Woods’ survival to his car’s 10 airbags and the fact he was wearing a seatbelt.

The accident has understandably brought a lot of attention to the South Korean luxury vehicle manufacturer Genesis—as Woods was driving Genesis’ newest SUV, the GV80, as part of a golf event the luxury car maker was sponsoring. The GV80 is so new that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t yet given it a rating. However, the brand’s rated vehicles, the G90 and G70, have both received superior scores across the board including the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick. It’s expected that the G80 and GV80 will also fare very well when it comes to the safety tests.

Having driven the all-new Genesis GV80, I can attest to its ultra-high build quality, sound construction and plentiful active safety features. So what are those safety features you ask? Let’s break them down:

The GV80 has 10 airbags. It debuted with a front center airbag. Located between the driver’s seat and center console, it deploys in 0.3 seconds in the event of a side collision to help prevent the two front passengers from colliding with each other or with vehicle components. It comes standard on all GV80 models, along with nine other airbags. (Driver and passenger—front and side; driver knee; left and right curtains; left and right rear passenger airbags)

The advanced driver-assistance systems on the GV80 and G80 employ cameras and sensors to detect obstructions or minimize the impact from collisions. The GV80 enhances these capabilities with machine learning to further assist the Smart Cruise Control (SSC) and Highway Driving Assist (HDA). When activated, SCC automatically adjusts throttle and braking to maintain a set distance from vehicles ahead. The 2021 GV80 adds a new dimension to SCC with machine learning that is able to learn the driver’s behavior even when SCC is not activated. By observing the timing and responsiveness of the driver’s acceleration and the following distance maintained, the system can approximate similar behavior when SCC is activated.

Machine learning also augments the new Highway Driving Assist (HDA) system by adapting steering feel and responsiveness based on driver behavior. These parameters also adjust according to the drive mode selected. Other improvements to HDA include the ability to execute driver-initiated lane changes, improved responsiveness for avoiding vehicles cutting into the lane at low speeds and the ability to adjust the vehicle’s position within the lane when others get close.

A new feature called Road Preview allows the front-facing camera to scan the road ahead and identify speed bumps and other impediments. If any are detected, the Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS) automatically adjusts suspension damping to reduce body movement and wheel impact harshness. The Road Preview feature comes standard on the GV80 3.5T. 

State-of-the-art, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) include:

Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II): This system assists the driver in a greater variety of situations than ever before, including during lane-change maneuvers when the turn signal is used, and when others merge in front of the driver.

Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning (SCC-ML): A world-first, SCC-ML incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) within the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature that helps the car learn the driving style of the driver.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA): This system may help automatically bring the GV80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle detected on the left or right side of the intersection. GV80 may also help detect potential collision risks in certain situations where, for example, a pedestrian is sensed in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion.

Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA): BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle and may alert the driver if a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind-spot.

Additional ADAS features debuting on the 2021 GV80 include:

Lane Follow Assist (LFA): The LFA helps a driver stay in the center of its lane by recognizing the lane markers and vehicles traveling ahead.

Lane-Change Oncoming (LO): This helps prevent collisions with vehicles in opposing lanes on non-divided highways or roads.

Lane Side (LS): The Land Side fear helps prevent side collisions when merging into another lane with the ability to see two lanes over.

Junction Turning (JT): This function automatically applies the brakes if a vehicle is detected in the opposite lane when making a left turn at an intersection.

Junction Crossing (JC): The car will automatically apply the brakes if a vehicle crossing from the left or the right is detected when entering an intersection.

Evasive Steering Torque Assist (ESA): The ESA assists in avoidance maneuvers by applying steering torque once the driver has initiated steering input.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA): This feature warns drivers of cars coming from the left or right while backing up and automatically brakes if a collision seems imminent.

It’s important to note that all of these safety features exist to prevent a crash or aid in the event of a crash. What they can’t do, of course, is increase the build quality of a vehicle, which is one of the most important factors in a crash. Most drivers assume that just because they are in a large vehicle, that it’s safe. That’s not the case. A vehicle’s build quality is of the utmost importance, regardless of size.

That is exactly what Genesis has done with its entire lineup, putting safety and build-quality at the forefront of its focus while developing a new luxury brand that may have helped save the life of Tiger Woods.

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