We all want different things from a new car. Some people want their cars to go really fast, others want them to be luxurious, and other want a banging sound system. But there’s one thing that most people can agree on: the importance of safety.
Whether you commute to work every day, or you want to keep your kids safe, here are the safety features you want on your new car this season.
Up until now, most new cars have come with a rear-view camera to detect pedestrians, especially children, walking around the rear bumper. Vendors, including Safety Dave, have built systems that can be used to upgrade any car.
But now car makers are using radar systems to automatically detect whether pedestrians are stepping into the path of cars. Volvo, the Swedish car giant, was the first to introduce this type of technology in its top-of-the-range XC90 model. But now it’s a common feature among Mercedes, Toyota, Kia and Hyundai cars. Experts in the industry predict that by 2018, all manufacturers will offer some type of pedestrian detection system on their cars.
But pedestrian detection won’t just stop at radar. In fact, we might find, if Tesla is anything to go by, that pedestrian detection returns to cameras. The difference will be that it won’t be humans monitoring the feeds from these cameras but the car’s computer itself. With advances in machine learning, computers are learning to recognize people and, crucially, to predict what they will do next. Computers are beginning to understand what humans look like and know that their goal is to make sure that the vehicle avoids colliding with them at all costs. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and advisor to President Trump, has said that his cars already have this capability and that future software updates will rollout this capability for the entire fleet.
When it comes to car safety, telematics is a significant upgrade. Essentially, telematics enables drivers to stay in touch with their dispatch center. It uses a combination of GPS and smartphone technology that allows drivers to track a car that has been lost in the parking lot or stolen, or if a driver has been involved in a crash in the wilderness and is in need of assistance.
The technology was first introduced by General Motors. But it has since been implemented by Honda, Audi, Ford, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes. The key benefit of the system is the fact that it allows drivers to communicate with their cars and the emergency services, all with the touch of a button.
Heads Up Display
Finally, one of the biggest safety upgrades available today is the heads-up display. Heads-up displays allow drivers to follow instructions from their GPS navigation system, without having to take their eyes off the road. Constantly glancing away from the road in front of you is dangerous, but sadly necessary when using a smartphone or a dashboard-mounted GPS device.
Heads-up displays put all the basic navigation information that you need on the road in front of you, overlaying what’s already there with new instructions.