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by Tim Beissmann

Mini has revealed an extensive list of driver assist technologies that will debut in the next-generation Cooper at its Los Angeles auto show unveiling next month.

Enhanced safety is the driver behind the introduction of the new features, most of which centre around its forward- and rear-facing cameras.

The new Mini Cooper incorporates city braking with collision and pedestrian detection functions, which monitors the road ahead at speeds up to 60km/h and automatically initiates braking and issues visual and audible warnings in potentially dangerous situations.

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The new adaptive cruise control system also utilises the forward-facing camera, offering automatic speed and distance regulation between 30-140km/h.

The Mini also offers traffic sign memory and speed limit information, combining information observed by the camera and data stored in the vehicle’s satellite navigation system to display roadside information in digitised form in the instrument cluster.

The introduction of a head-up display also aims to improve the way information is presented in front of the driver. A high-resolution colour image is projected onto a transparent screen above the standard instrument cluster, incorporating speed, navigation, entertainment and warning data.

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A reversing camera improves rear visibility, while the new park assist system uses ultrasound sensors to detect potential parking spaces before automatically steering the Mini into parallel spaces, requiring the driver to operate only the accelerator and brake pedals.

The new Mini Cooper will also come with digital headlight assist, which automatically switches between high- and low-beam at vehicle speeds above 50km/h as it detects the headlights and tail-lights of other vehicles.

The details of the third-generation Cooper’s driver assist features come after Mini confirmed engine, transmission and chassis specifications late last month, and less than two weeks after the new Cooper S was fully revealed in spy photos.

The 2014 Mini Cooper will make its international debut in LA on November 22 before reaching local showrooms in March/April 2014.




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