This year’s class of cars is generating serious buzz, and it’s not only because they’re so stylish. No, today’s drivers are excited about the new features, largely powered by automation, that are making driving safer. If you’re on the market for a new car, be on the lookout for these new safety capabilities, coming to dealerships near you.
One of the most serious problems plaguing our roads todays is distracted driving, such as texting behind the wheel, and while there are countless PSAs warning drivers about the behavior, they’ve had a limited impact. Now car companies are taking things into their own hands with in-car monitoring systems.
In-car monitoring systems use cameras to monitor drivers’ eye movements to ensure that they’re always focused on the road. In addition to addressing distracted driving, this technology could also alert to drowsy drivers who are falling asleep behind the wheel, which would be useful for late night driving and long trips, and is already used by many in the trucking industry.
IoT Meets 5G
Cars are getting smarter, but they can’t meet new safety landmarks without support from other systems, including 5G connectivity. So how is 5G changing the way we drive? 5G promises to supplement self-driving technologies like auto braking so that external traffic sensors could potentially override in-car failures. Improved connectivity could also help local traffic system to communicate with drivers in emergency circumstances or when there are infrastructural issues impacting traffic flow.
Blind Spot Monitoring
All vehicles have a blind spot and the inability to see clearly at all times is a serious safety concern. That’s why it’s no surprise that blind spot monitoring is one of the most popular new safety features, found on 73% of 2017 cars and increasingly a standard option. If you have the choice, blind spot monitoring a necessity as it can guard against serious accidents.
While tools like blind spot monitoring can help you avoid accidental collisions caused by visual interference, more cars now also include crash avoidance systems that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and even animals. When you’re focused on the road, it’s easy to miss a pedestrian that suddenly dodges into traffic, especially if they’re not in a crosswalk or at a light, but these systems can stop or slow your vehicle to minimize harm to pedestrians. It is important to note that these systems have really only been tested at low speeds. While pedestrians theoretically shouldn’t be a problem in higher speed areas, it’s concerning that this feature might not work where it’s needed most.
Investing In Safety
While some of these new safety features come standard on today’s cars, many features still come only at an extra cost, so you’ll need to pay up to benefit from these tools. And though each passing year leads to more standard safety features, for drivers who can’t afford a new vehicle, it could be a decade or more until they have access to these safety features. It’s important to be aware of this added cost and how that will slow adoption of and access to these technologies because how we behave on the road has a lot to do with how we perceive other drivers and with shared safety norms.