Feature Friday: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Feature Friday: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Rear cross-traffic alert gives a visual and audible alert when a car is passing behind you while you are in reverse. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

Rear cross-traffic alert is one of those bits of technology every car should have — especially if you’re parked in a lot surrounded by large SUVs. You can’t always see what’s coming just by looking.

This system activates when the vehicle is in reverse, using cameras and radar to detect if someone is headed toward your vehicle. Most systems have both visual and audible alerts, giving you the heads up that someone is barreling down an aisle in your direction.

While I think some tech on cars makes drivers dumb, this feature is really helpful. I’ve noticed drivers in parking lots are generally oblivious of things like stop signs (no, they aren’t optional just because they’re in a parking lot), pedestrians with grocery carts and vehicles backing out of a spot. I’ve almost been hit more than once, and this feature has saved my sheet metal. Literally.

Rear cross-traffic alert is rarely available on base trims, but more often than not I’m starting to see it on vehicles one level up from the base, and it’s usually paired with blind-spot monitoring.

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  • I insisted on it after having backed into 2 cars with another car, and it beeped in a parking lot where it had happened.

    On the other hand, someone in a GLE backed into me in a parking lot, and I asked "don't you have backup assist?" and she said "I didn't look at it." Fortunately, bumper covers are more flexible than they used to be.

    But, on the other hand,I think cars beep way too much.

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