Volkswagen is consolidating its systems on the road to automated driving under its IQ.DRIVE umbrella brand. As part of this consolidation, the German OEM’s Polo model will now permit partly automated driving through the automaker’s Travel Assist functionality. Until now, Travel Assist was only available in larger models – such as the Golf, Passat, and Touareg.

It is based on a combination of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and adaptive lane guidance. ACC ensures that the Polo maintains the permitted speed selected by the driver and leverages Dynamic Road Sign Display to understand how fast it is allowed to drive in certain areas. Using radar sensor technology, it can also detect if a slower vehicle appears in front of it. If this is the case, the car brakes to maintain a safe following distance. If there are no longer any cars in front, the car begins to accelerate again. The Polo will also feature a predictive ACC system that works in conjunction with the navigation system and dual clutch gearbox (DSG). This combination allows the vehicle to react to bends, or town boundaries, and automatically reduce speed.

The Polo’s Lane Assist feature uses a camera to scan the area in front of it, detecting lane markings and correcting steering if any movement outside the lane is detected. However, much like SAE’s Level 2 requirements, the driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel throughout this process. They can also signal when they want Lane Assist to be activated via the touch-sensitive steering wheel rim.

With the manual 5- and 6-speed gearboxes, Travel Assist can be used from a speed of 30km/h (18mph) to the maximum speed of 210km/h (130mph). If the Polo is fitted with a 7-gear DSG, Travel Assist is available from a speed of 0km/h.

Travel Assist and ACC are available for the Polo through Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE package. Lane Assist comes as standard in the new Polo.