Accidents happened instantly, and half the time they do, it’s because of the distraction of the driver. Maybe your kids are having an argument or it’s stormy outside. Such distractions of the driver could lead you to lose control if a car appears suddenly from out of nowhere. If you’ve ever dreamed of having a vehicle that is able to detect an accident before it happens and save your life, then your dream isn’t too farfetched.
There’s a lot of competition in the automotive industry and manufacturers are trying to outsmart each other by making some of the best vehicles that are technologically advanced. Some of these futuristic advancements are better ways of preventing accidents, checking blind spots and having vehicles that can automatically change lanes.
So how smart are these new advanced features? Can they really make the driving experience safer? Well, in later models, these new safety features are called advanced driver assistance systems. In most cases, they’ll be offered in the premium packages. If your car doesn’t have these features installed, then you’ll have to bleed through your pockets to have them installed.
If you thought your cruise control was anything to brag about, then you need to see some of the new features manufacturers are packing into some of these new-age smart cars.
20. Parking Assist
I bet you get really frustrated trying to park your car in the shopping mall parking lot on a busy weekend. I bet you wish your car could park itself sometimes. Well, when it comes to parking in the mall, most of us wouldn’t be professionals. Believe it or not, manufacturers have made parking a lot easier and safer. Cars that have an automatic parking function only need their drivers to pull up the vehicle in front of an open parking spot. How easy does it get? The vehicle will use its advanced systems including the camera and radar to park the vehicle on its own. While this might be frightening, drivers really don’t need to worry about the car controlling itself, because you can still regulate the brake while the hardest part of twisting into that cramped up space is taken care of.
19. Advanced Cruise Control
While your older cruise control systems ensured that your vehicle was always at a constant speed, today’s systems are a lot different since they are able to detect different traffic patterns by using radar technology. And while you will still have to set the cruise control like you did with older versions, an additional feature lets you select how much distance to leave between the car that will be in front of you in traffic. This new system integrates collision warning and automatic braking features in your vehicle. This means that not only will you be able to control your speed, but your vehicle will be able to judge and detect the speed you move at when there is a car in front of you in traffic.
18. Advanced Automotive Braking System
This new feature will on normal occasions prevent the vehicle from getting into a collision by detecting another vehicle or a big object in front of the car. Usually, when the object is detected the vehicle will slow down or come to an immediate stop. In most cases, these systems are designed to work on highways, but other manufacturers have been able to design more advanced systems that can operate at lower speeds. Since the most common type of collision was the rear end collision, most manufacturers have committed themselves to ensure that they standardize all automatic braking systems on all new vehicles by 2022.
17. Lane Monitoring Systems
You probably have veered off your lane once or twice after a long road trip, happens a lot when you are tired or when you suddenly fall asleep or doze off while driving, which isn’t ideal. Well, thanks to new safety advancement in vehicles, your vehicle will be able to use lane markings on the road to detect if your car is drifting off the lane without you triggering the turn signal. The car will alert the driver with a vibration or a flashlight. In more advanced systems, the car will drift back by corrective steering or even brake. However, this system is best for highways since it can be a bit hard for the systems to detect suburban or country roads.
16. Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring Systems
We have all been in a situation where a vehicle just appears from out of nowhere and you almost get into a collision. It’s hard to see that vehicle simply because it’s in your blind spot. Today manufacturers include blind spot monitoring systems that will sense cars that are in your blind spot and warn you via audio alerts. Some vehicles will show what’s in your blind spot through camera footage. These systems are more common in SUVs and trucks. These systems are becoming very popular, and more vehicle shoppers are insisting on having these features installed when shopping for new vehicles.
15. Rear Camera
This has to be one of the most innovative yet simple upgrades ever done on a vehicle. This is because rear cameras offer such peace of mind. According to research, over 50 children are hurt during back-end collisions with vehicles every single week in the United States. However, this features is quickly becoming a standardized feature and according to the federal rules, all vehicles will need to have rear cameras starting in 2018. Many manufacturers had already begun equipping all their new models from 2015 with this feature.
14. Driver Alert Systems
If you have ever driven across states for more than 7 hours, then you probably understand that long hours of driving can cause anyone to drift off. This mistake can be deadly. According to a survey, 846 people died due to this in 2014. This has forced automakers to equip their new model vehicles with sensors that are able to detect erratic driving that is normally caused by fatigue or tiredness. In most vehicles the systems will alert the driver by using acoustic warning signals or even visual alerts. The systems will be triggered if the vehicle suddenly starts drifting off or there is a sudden decrease in acceleration.
13. On Board Diagnostic Systems
OBD systems have come a long way and are traced back to 1980 when the first OBD systems were first innovated. As the name suggests, this system provided a channel through which your mechanic or technician could be able to find out exactly what is wrong with your vehicle through codes that were accessed by a 16 pin connector. This has come a long way in helping drivers avoid driving their vehicles when they are faulty. These systems will alert you in the case a specific cylinder in your vehicle is misfiring, or if your engine is running low on fuel or oil. It can also detect problem with air management and other systems.
12. Tire Pressure Monitoring Compression Systems
While it’s not common to see vehicles nowadays being parked at the roadside due to a flat tire, part of the reason is because of advanced tire pressure monitoring systems. These highly advanced systems will warn the driver in case they have under-inflated tires on their cars before the real problem happens. These systems will use the anti-braking system or wheel speed sensors to detect your air pressure. More advanced systems will use air pressure sensors that are fitted into the wheel. These systems were standardized back in 2008 through the TREAD act of 2000. All vehicles are now expected to have tire pressure monitoring compression systems.
11. Bluetooth Systems Integration
While we have all at one point talked over the phone while driving, this is a very dangerous habit since it’s known to distract the driver while driving down the road. Bluetooth systems were first launched in the 1990s as a car kit to enable talking on your phone hands-free. This feature is for almost all vehicles and phones, allowing drivers to be able to talk on the phone in their cars hands-free, preventing distractions. According to 14 states in the US, to be able to talk on your phone in your car, a hands-free connection needs to be established between your car and phone. So far, Bluetooth is the only way of getting that done hassle free.
10. Torque Differential
While this technology was introduced by Mitsubishi for their Evolution model back in the 1990s, this technology has come a long way to ensuring that active differentials send torque equally across an axle. When this system is fitted on both the front and the rear axle, they will be able to direct the torque on the vehicle in any amount on any movement. This will greatly improve the handling in case you are driving fast, while at the same time increasing the drivability in bad conditions as well as the traction. This greatly improves the safety of the driver in those conditions.
9. Improved Visibility
Many people have a problem driving at night due to the low lighting. While the introduction of laser lighting and LED lamps offers some sort of consolation to this problem, it doesn’t entirely solve the issue here. Well, today some of the newer luxury vehicles have night vision infrared systems installed, and while this might not be a James Bond movie, this technology alerts the driver of obstacles that are beyond the reach of your normal headlights. This system assists your vehicle’s headlights in shifting while you are turning on curves, helping you to see around corners.
8. Electronic Stability Control Systems
While this technology is not new to vehicles, it has greatly assisted in preventing fatal accidents that are caused due to swerving or vehicles losing control while at high speeds. It’s been researched that this system has helped reduce fatal vehicle crashes in the US by up to 50%. This system works by applying the brakes to individual wheels on your car, offering the driver a chance to regain control of the vehicle. If your vehicle was manufactured after 2012, you probably have this feature installed in your car, since it was a requirement standard feature from 2012 onward.
While this might not be news to you, you need to understand that this technology is ever improving. By 2006, it was a requirement that all vehicles be fitted with frontal airbags that will automatically detect the size and the position of the passenger in the vehicle while at the same time judging the magnitude of the crash so that it is able to vary the force with which the airbags inflate. While frontal airbags are the most common, a variety of vehicles also have side airbags, rear airbags or inflatable seat belts. These innovations have come a long way in improving the safety of the cars we drive.
6. V2V Technology
The US Department of Transportation has proposed this new rule on vehicles that will require them to have new V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) technology. What’s all the fuss about this technology? Well, this new technology will allow vehicles to communicate with each other in order to avoid crashes. Vehicles that are fitted with this technology will be able to transmit data on location, such as the direction and the speeds at which other vehicles are traveling at. This will help vehicles identify risks by warning vehicle drivers of imminent crashes. This system will be integrated into the automatic braking system as well as the speed sensors of the vehicle to avoid crashes.
5. Head-Up Display Systems
A variety of vehicles now are able to project important information such as speed and navigation systems directions onto the windshield. How amazing is that? This innovation helps the drivers focus on the road they are driving on without having to glance down to the dash. There has been a lot of criticism about this advancement, with some stating that it would pose a risk since it shifts the focus of the eyes while they need to focus forward. However, most of the test drivers who have had a chance to use this system swear it’s one of the best visual innovations in any vehicle.
4. Low Power Engines
We all value the lives of our young ones, and if you have any of these little ones running around the house, you need to start saving for a vehicle once they turn sixteen. However, today even the most reasonably priced vehicles have a breathtaking amount of power. While we all want our teens to enjoy their first cars, having a fast car isn’t exactly the best idea at this age. While vehicles with less power in their engines are usually considered as low-priced or good economy, they are actually a safety feature; these vehicles can greatly reduce the odds that your teen will be driving at dangerous speeds when not supervised.
3. Automatic Emergency Braking System
This highly advanced system uses a combination of lasers and radar to detect a vehicle or even a pedestrian in front of the vehicle and will apply the brakes if it detects that the collision is likely to happen. In case there is no response from the driver while driving the car, full brakes will be initiated to bring the car to a halt or minimize the effects that are likely to be caused by the impact. There will be different levels of the AEB system applied by different manufacturers, with some of the leaders such as Mercedes and Lexus having better-integrated systems.
2. Satellite Navigation Systems
If you were driving in the late 80s, then you understand that you needed a map for a road trip. However, not anymore. Vehicles now come packed with advanced navigation systems that will wait for commands to take you where you want. These systems were first introduced in the mid-90s. However, it was in the early 2000s that this system was released to the public and manufacturers started installing them in luxury vehicles such as the BMW. But today, you can buy a cheap navigation system that can be mounted on your dashboard. These systems are so accurate no one drives around with foldout maps anymore.
1. Dual Clutch Transmission Systems
While this is seen to be more of a performance advancement to many, it’s a safety feature that offers the benefits of the older automatic transmission but with no drawbacks. The reason behind its safety is that compared to the traditional manual gear system, the driver is less fatigued when driving over long distances and it also offers a smoother transition of gears as compared to traditional gear systems that shifted slower. This advancement was first introduced by Volkswagen in their signature Golf GTi models, and soon Mercedes and Lamborghini applied this system.
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