What Are the Latest Car Safety Features and Innovations?
Picture this: you're cruising down the highway, wind in your hair, and not a care in the world. Suddenly, a car swerves into your lane, but before you have time to react, your car's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) kicks in and takes control. You feel a rush of relief as you realize that you are safe, thanks to the help from the latest car safety features and innovations.
Modern cars are nothing short of technological marvels to protect your family from harm, from emergency braking systems to Blind Spot Warning Systems. The latest high-tech automobiles have intriguing features developed to enhance safety and comfort during your daily life.
From Forward Crash Warning Systems with Adaptive Cruise Control to Lane Departure Warnings, these advanced driver assistance systems are designed to help you stay alert and focused on the road ahead. Let's look at some fascinating new features and see how they can change the way you drive.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Another safety feature, the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system, uses sensors to determine the distance and position of vehicles, people, and other obstacles in front of the car. Then, it alerts the driver to brake based on the speed and distance from the obstacle.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the FCW can reduce rear-end collision by 27 percent. Besides, the camera and sensor are also used for Traffic Sign Recognition.
Intersection-Scanning Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is an innovative car safety feature. It warns drivers of potential collisions at junctions by spotting incoming cars. It uses radar or camera-based sensors to assess closing speeds among vehicles, similar to other types of AEB systems.
However, this specific technology is designed to scan intersections for potential hazards, making it particularly useful in urban areas with high traffic congestion.
Several new car models now come with intersection-scanning AEB as standard, including vehicles made by Toyota, Isuzu, Mazda, and others.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) technology has revolutionized how drivers experience long-distance travel.
With this system, your vehicle’s camera and radar modules adjust the cruising speed, keeping you in sync with traffic flow. However, this advanced feature goes beyond simple cruise control.
While the standard cruise control maintains a steady speed that you set, Adaptive Cruise Control helps you keep a safe distance from other vehicles by assisting with acceleration and braking.
Most systems can handle it all, whether it's coming to a complete stop or starting up again in slow-moving traffic. This reduces driver fatigue and significantly decreases the likelihood of rear-end collisions caused by sudden braking.
Blind Spot Detection
Blind spot detection is an essential car safety feature that can help prevent collisions while changing lanes. This feature uses radar sensors on both sides of the car's rear bumper notifying you when objects are in your blind spot. If you activate your turn signal while a vehicle exists in your blind spot, the warning will escalate to ensure you know the potential danger.
Some vehicles even have side-mounted cameras to detect and show visual indicator of vehicles approaching from adjacent lanes. By alerting the driver with visual or auditory cues, blind spot detection can prevent collisions with other cars, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.
It provides extra safety and peace of mind on the road. In fact, a study by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that vehicles with blind spot detection had a 14 percent lower rate of lane-change accidents than those without.
Lane Departure Warning
A Lane Departure Warning System is a helpful car safety feature that keeps track of your vehicle's position in a lane to prevent unintentional lane departures.
Distracted driving is one of the most common cause of collisions. According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2020. However, studies show that Lane departure warnings (LDW) can potentially mitigate a significant number of lane departure crashes.
It uses a camera near the rearview mirror and creates an alert in various ways. Warnings include sound, steering wheel or seat vibration, and visual cues on the dashboard if you try merging without signaling or leaving your lane. Some vehicles also have light steering or braking capabilities to correct your lane departure instantly.
A lane departure warning is a potential life saver for drivers who often drive long distances, and/or those who are distracted or fatigued while driving. It can help a driver regain their focus and avoid accidents caused by veering off the road.
Rear Cross Traffic Warning
Rear Cross Traffic Warning is an advanced car safety feature that can provide you with an extra layer of protection when backing up and uses the same sensors as your blind spot detection system.
This system utilizes sensors to detect vehicles, pedestrians, or objects approaching from either side while your car is in reverse gear. This feature can be handy in navigating crowded parking lots or areas with limited visibility.
Picture yourself in a congested parking lot, trying to reverse out of your spot at the grocery store. Suddenly, a warning tone comes from your vehicle's Rear Cross Traffic Warning system. You glance around, surprised to see a shopping cart behind your car. The highly advanced sensors in the Rear Cross Traffic Warning system had detected the cart's presence and alerted you to its existence. You promptly slam on the brakes, preventing a possible collision. Instances like this make you appreciate the technology that ensures your safety while driving.
By alerting you to potential hazards before they become a danger, Rear Cross Traffic Warning can help prevent accidents. It keeps you and your passengers safe on the road. Rear Cross Traffic Warning also helps keep your community safe in crowded parking lots.
Front Center Airbags
Although front center airbags are not an advanced driver-assistance system, they work to keep your family safe.
Front center airbags were first introduced by General Motors in 2013. Over time, these have been implemented on other new vehicles from various manufacturers. These airbags are typically located between the two front passenger seats and to the left side of the driver's seat.
The function of Front Center Airbags is simple – they help prevent occupants from colliding with each other in the event of a side-impact crash.
Front airbags generally inflate during moderate to severe frontal crashes to keep occupants' heads and chests from hitting rigid structures inside the vehicle. It serves as a divider between the driver and the passenger to keep them safe. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, over 50,000 lives have been saved since 2017 thanks to these life-saving features.
Traffic Sign Recognition
Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) is a beneficial safety feature for drivers. This technology uses cameras and sensors to detect and interpret traffic signs such as speed limits, do not enter, and stop signs. It displays them on the dashboard or the windshield.
Not all cars with the basic ADAS system offer this feature. Some vehicles equipped with the TSR system include Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and more.
The primary goal of TSR is to improve driver awareness and decision-making, leading to safer driving. The advanced camera technology and software work together to classify traffic signs in nearly real-time. It provides drivers with the information they need to make informed decisions on the road.