While we may not be flying in a car like the Jetsons or riding our hovering skateboard using quantum levitation; the new safety features in this year’s models are futuristic. The automakers continue to try to save us from ourselves with these new features:
1. Adaptive cruise control/collision mitigation – This goes way beyond cruise control, the system senses a potential collision, it typically will brake hard and tighten the seatbelts. Once it knows the lane is clear or traffic has sped up, it will return your car to its original cruising speed.
2. Blind-spot detection/side assist/collision warning – This system alerts you to cars or objects in your blind spot during driving or parking. If it detects something in the way, it may flash a light in your mirror, cause the seat or steering wheel to vibrate or sound an alarm.
3. Lane-departure warning/wake-you-up safety – It can warn you if it determines your car is wandering out of the lane. This could come in the form of a vibration through the seat or steering wheel or an alarm. Down the road expect lane-departure warnings to even be able to monitor body posture, head position and eye activity to decide if the driver is falling asleep and the vehicle is behaving erratically.
4.Occupant-sensitive/dual-stage airbags– The new technology can now sense the different sizes and weights of occupants, as well as, seatbelt usage, abnormal seating position (such as reaching for the radio or bending to pick something off the floor), rear-facing child seats and even vehicle speed.
5.Emergency Response – DaimlerChrysler’s Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) turns on interior lighting, unlocks doors and shuts off fuel when airbags deploy. Volkswagens also switch on the hazards and disconnect the battery terminal from the alternator. In addition, GM’s OnStar and BMW Assist both alert their respective response centers of the accident and make crash details available to emergency personnel.
These are pretty cool safety technology innovations but when are they going to invent the flying car?