Driving is a risky business. It’s something that our society grudgingly accepts as a part of life. After all, if you banned cars and roads, we’d all be up the creek without a paddle.
But, despite this apathy, automakers themselves aren’t satisfied. Each time a person gets injured or killed in one of their cars, it’s a stain on their reputation. Now they are scouring the bleeding edge of car safety technology to find solutions. Are there any out there? Let’s take a look.
Night Vision Assist
Night vision used to be a technology that we associated with the military. But it’s proven so useful for driving at night, ideas from it have found their way into cars. Many different technologies can help drivers see better at night. Infrared headlamps are one idea. Thermal imaging is another. But the result is a system that helps drivers to see better as they cruise down a quiet country road.
These technologies change the game. A typical car traveling down a dark road can only see about 200 feet ahead with the headlamps. But with thermal imaging, this can easily increase to over 1000 feet.
Occupant Sensitive Airbags
As this site points out, thousands of people are injured in car accidents every year. And most of the time, it’s because the kinetic energy of the impact wasn’t mitigated. Car makers now recognize that generic airbag systems aren’t the best solution. Different people have different sizes and weights. And so they will be affected differently when airbags deploy. For instance, you wouldn’t want a small child flying into an airbag designed for a twenty stone adult.
Up until recently, generic airbags were the only solution. But in the last couple of years, this has begun to change. Thanks to low sensor costs, car makers are now putting sensors that can detect occupant weight in seats. These sensors then tell the airbags how quickly to deploy in the event of an accident. Sensors are also being used to detect how a person is sitting and how fast the vehicle is moving. All these data are collected so that the airbags can deploy in the safest way possible.
Blind Spot Detection
When we learn to drive, we’re all warned about the blind spot. But there will come a time when you’ll forget to check it. And when that happens, you risk an accident. Fortunately, car makers are trying to do something about it. Essentially, they’re putting sensors on the sides of cars that detect the presence of another vehicle. If you try to change lane when there’s another car in your blind spot, the car will alert you. Hopefully, this will provide enough time for drivers to react and get back in lane.
In today’s modern cars, sensors are everywhere. And tyres are no exception. Low tyre pressure is a serious risk for drivers because it makes blowouts more likely. And blowouts can cause a loss of control and lead to an accident. Cars, like the Corvette, now come with pressure sensors. These then feed a warning into the driver’s cabin, alerting them of the problem.