Most Innovative Driver Assist Feature of the Year: Porsche InnoDrive | Edmunds

Most Innovative Driver Assist Feature of the Year: Porsche InnoDrive


Autonomous cars are drawing a lot of attention these days. When will they finally drive themselves? Nobody really knows. But traditional driver assist systems are here now and improving year by year. A great example is Porsche's new InnoDrive system, and it's our pick for Edmunds CES Tech Driven Awards' Most Innovative Driver Assist Feature of the Year.

Available on the 2018 Panamera and other upcoming Porsche models, InnoDrive is an improved version of Porsche's adaptive cruise control system. Normally, adaptive cruise control uses onboard sensors to detect when there's a vehicle ahead of you. It can then maintain a set distance to that vehicle by automatically applying the gas or brakes. InnoDrive takes it to the next level by using GPS and high-definition map data to "see" what's down the road, up to 2 miles away.

2018 Porsche Panamera

It knows the course and radius of an upcoming turn, elevation changes of the road, and the boundaries between city and country zones. It then combines that fixed information with street sign data read from a camera inside the windshield to adjust speed-limit information in real time. With this information, InnoDrive can preselect gears and pre-emptively apply the throttle or brakes. Think of InnoDrive as an adaptive cruise control that's particularly well suited for driving along curvy roads.

2018 Porsche Panamera

Normal adaptive cruise control functionality is part of the system, too. Notable, however, is that InnoDrive does not steer the car. That's left for the driver. Porsches are well-known for being fun to drive, so this is part of the plan. The driver can even select special modes. There's Comfort mode for a smooth and efficient ride or Sport for maximum performance.

2018 Porsche Panamera

Information about what InnoDrive is doing, including the direction of the next turn down the road, is displayed on the instrument panel, so the driver stays in the loop. Porsche says this sort of system increases efficiency since the car is always at the right speed and gear for the condition, without wastefully accelerating to an arbitrary speed only to have to slow down again.

Edmunds gives Porsche's InnoDrive an Edmunds CES Tech Driven Award because it looks ahead much farther than any driver could and assists the driver to be more efficient and dynamic, all at the flick of a control lever.

View more 2018 Edmunds CES Tech Driven Awards articles

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