Safety technology may not be as exciting as in-cabin gadgets and infotainment choices, but these innovations are increasing becoming part of all vehicles with each passing model year. Today’s vehicles are smarter vehicles that help take stress out and put safety into daily driving by helping to eliminate potential hazards. Advancements in cameras and sensors make crash avoidance technology an essential part of high-end and mainstream vehicles.
Here is an overview of some of the more exciting safety technology features that have begun to assist drivers. Although not yet available in all vehicles, consumers can expect them to become increasingly common in across the board within the next few years.
This technology will detect possible hazards such as pylons, road debris, pedestrians and animals before headlights will. Thermal imaging and infrared radiation captured by sophisticated cameras transmit information to cabin displays to help eliminate nighttime hazards that can result in crashes.
Drowsy Driving Warnings
Much has been made of drowsy driving in the news, comparing it to drunk driving. To keep drivers focused, several manufacturers have developed systems that notify drivers when erratic driving behavior occurs. Some utilize cameras and facial recognition software to detect behind-the-wheel behavior,while others use software that compares driving systems and motions against previous operations. These alerts are particularly useful for long-distance driving.
Ford currently has a lane-departure system that alerts drivers if they change lanes without signaling. This system also helps alert drivers via laser sensors and cameras who veer in and out of their lines, particularly on tight expressways and parkways. Vibrations in the steering wheel or driver’s seat often accompany audible notification. Some higher end systems even help nudge the vehicle back into place.
Active braking systems use cameras to detect potential hazards and apply brakes to avoid a crash. Some systems are more complex, altering drivers before taking automatic action. When used in conjunction with other safety systems, active braking has the potential to almost allow your vehicle to drive itself.
Blind Spot Detection
Everyone knows that outboard mirrors and clear back windows do not provide the full picture necessary for passing and merging. Blind spot monitors use sensors or lenses to detect vehicles directly on you car’s sides, and then give audible alert cues. Unlike other safety systems that prevent vehicle action resulting in crashes, blind spot detection systems can often be manually overridden.
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