It seems like every day we’re hearing about some new technological innovation and within minutes we’re bombarded with even more stories to the point that we keep forgetting the innovation we just learned about. Some people might look at this as a bad thing, others good, but the point is that innovation is happening everywhere and at increasing rates.
An industry that is benefiting greatly from this is the automotive industry. All the way up to the top in revenue, down to the drivers themselves, technological advancements are helping pave new ground for safety features. Here are some of the most exciting and helpful technologies that are making our roads safer for today and tomorrow.
Hands-Free Voice Control
Cellphones are great for many things, but one thing they’re not great for is keeping drivers focused on the road. It might be an urgent call from your kids, or it could be that you need to know if you missed the right exit, but the problem is keeping it out of your hands. Thankfully, hands-free voice control is allowing us to control our smart devices without taking our hands off of the wheel, making driving and multitasking a whole lot easier.
Transparent Rear Screens and Cameras
This one is actually quite hard to wrap our heads around and is something you might not have even heard yet, but when it becomes more mainstream, it will change everything. Most people involved in a semi-truck accident were in that position because they couldn’t see around the truck, and the truck couldn’t see them. Trying to overtake a semi-truck on the highway can end disastrously if you can’t see oncoming traffic, but screens are making the rear of the truck transparent with the use of cameras in the front to show the road ahead. It’s mind-blowing, but it’s even being used in rear view cameras for trucks to make trailers transparent.
Lane Assist and Guidance
Knowing you’re in your lane is something you just get a feel for when driving, but some people are still learning how to grasp it and need some help. Luckily, lane assist and guidance is an automated detection system in a vehicle that
when you’re in-between the lines you need to be. This is great for drivers who can’t see as well all around them and in tight spaces like driving in cities. It can help prevent sideswiping cars or cyclists and keep everyone happily in place.
Blindside Warning and Detection
In a very similar way to lane assist, a blindside warning and detection system on vehicles is making it much easier to keep an eye or an ear out on every area around your car. You can’t always crane your neck back to see who’s riding in that dead zone of vision near your car, but a little sensor will light up either on an in-car monitor or on the side view mirrors to indicate that, yes, someone is in your blind spot.
Autonomous Driving and A.I.
If you haven’t been paying attention, which likely means you’re living under a rock, Tesla is doing some pretty profound things to upend the automotive industry. Not just in developing fully functioning and performing electric vehicles, but the fact that A.I. integrated into car operating systems is allowing for a new future where you don’t even need to drive at all, per se. Autonomous driving vehicles might not seem that safe yet but imagine battling fatigue on a long drive and needing rest, but you just can’t stop? That’s where a self-driving car will help long-distance motorists the most.
Safety Exit Assist
How many times have you blindly flung your car door open without even thinking about who’s coming down the street? It’s okay, we’re all guilty of it, but there may be a time when it isn’t just a reaction to stopping and getting out and it could end up getting torn off by a passing car or hit a cyclist. In this case, safety exit assist helps prevent or warn passengers and drivers when it is safe and when it isn’t to open their door. This is incredibly useful for locking the door from opening when kids are trying to fling the door open as well.
Vehicles may not have changed that much in their 100+ years since inception, but that’s all starting to change as they are quickly intersecting with technological innovation. Electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, safety assist, cameras, warning systems, etc. are all among the most compelling ways the automobile is going to evolve into a much safer product in our lifetimes.