Seasoned drivers know that the technological advances that have gone into automotive technologies over the past 20 years have come along leaps and bounds. The age of Bluetooth has allowed for unparallelled connectivity, enabling a symbiosis between your vehicle and your digital devices, enabling you to not only make phone calls and access audio content from your phone safely while driving but also to perfectly replicate your phone screen on your dash. Parking sensors have enabled us not only to parallel park without fear of unwanted bumps, dents and dings but in some models this has been extrapolated into hands free parking technologies. It’s astonishing how many steps have been taken to make driving not only pleasurable and convenient but safer, too. Here are some of the technologies that are quietly revolutionizing the way we drive and making for safer roads all over the world…
Phone signal inhibitors
In an era where more and more of us have become dependent on smartphones to help us navigate day to day life, it’s no surprise that the distraction caused by mobile devices is a leading cause of driver incident. Distracted drivers account for 9 deaths and around 1,000 injuries in the US every single day. Many of those who seek legal justice for injuries caused by negligent drivers do so against people who have been found to be texting while driving. Both phone and vehicle manufacturers have developed technologies to combat this phenomenon. Recent versions of iOS, for example, will suspend most functions if they suspect that you are driving while japanese manufacturer Nissan are developing a model with a Faraday cage built into the armrest to block distracting phone signals including Bluetooth and Wifi signals.
In an age of connectivity, a logical step is Vehicle To Vehicle (V2V) communication which could allow vehicles to communicate with not only each other but with road signs to make driving safer. Theoretically, cars could communicate with one another sharing information such as speed, braking efficacy, stability, location and direction of travel to help to preempt hazards to one another. Your vehicle could also receive data from road signs ensuring that even if you didn’t notice a change in speed limit, your car did.
Driver fatigue is another common cause of road traffic accidents with tens of thousands of deaths per year caused by tired drivers. While combatting driver fatigue is ultimately the driver’s responsibility (here are some pointers), vehicle manufacturers are developing tech to lend a helping hand. General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen are all developing systems that monitor and track driver behavior to detect signs of driver fatigue and alert the driver to them. They measure head movement, driver gaze and even eyelid positioning to prevent sleepy drivers from becoming a hazard to themselves and others.
Autonomous Emergency Braking
Since its introduction in 2012 Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) has prevented countless accidents all over the world. Using the same sensors used for parking the vehicle can detect obstacles that may have escaped the driver’s attention and apply the brakes accordingly.
Don’t you just feel safer already?