Lane keeping assist (LKA)

Lane keeping assist (LKA) is an advanced driver-assistance system that automatically takes steps to keep a car in its lane when it moves towards lane lines.

How does it work? 

Lane keeping assist works similarly to lane departure warning (LDW). It uses a camera to detect the lane lines on the road. The camera is usually mounted in the windshield near the rearview mirror. When the car drifts near or on the line, the system gives a warning. The warning can be a sound, blinking sign or vibration of the steering wheel or seat cushion. 

If the driver doesn’t steer the car back into the lane, the system automatically takes steps to do it for them. Many systems apply torque to the steering wheel to steer the car away from the line. Some systems use gentle braking to correct the car’s trajectory.

Advantages and disadvantages

The purpose of LKA is to lower the possibility of an accident resulting from distractions and sleepiness. It is the next step from LDW. When LDW passively notifies the user, LKA actively keeps the car in the lane. But still, the driver is responsible for steering the car even when the system is activated. This system just gives a nudge and the driver needs to do the rest.

Similarly to LDW, LKA is limited to roads with good lane markings. When the marks have faded, LKA might have trouble recognising them. Extreme weather conditions such as heavy snow, rain or fog can also make it hard to detect the lines.

Lane keeping is one of the systems that offer lane support. The most basic of these systems is lane departure warning and the most advanced is lane centering. The latter is a proactive system that automatically keeps the car in the centre of the lane, steering it gently.

  • Lane keeping system
  • LKS
  • Lane keeping