Gone are the days when in-vehicle technology was limited to ABS brakes and airbags. Today, automakers are rapidly deploying a range of technological innovations and advanced driver assistance systems. The goal? To improve road safety and reduce accidents and the serious injuries they cause. Here are just a few of the technologies that serve as your daily co-pilot.
1- Automatic Emergency Braking
Some cars are now equipped with sensors and collision warning systems that provide real-time information to the on-board computer about changes in the driving environment. For example, if a pedestrian suddenly appears behind you while the car is reversing, the brakes will be applied immediately.
Another example? If the car in front of you is braking hard, the system could sense this change, issue a potential collision alert, and brake before you do, avoiding an accident and… an insurance claim.
2- Lane Keeping Assistance
Unless you have the driving skills of the characters in the Fast and Furious film series, chances are you’ve unintentionally drifted out of your lane on occasion. If you do, and if you did not use your turn signals, the system will give you an audible warning or a warning light on the dashboard to remind you to correct your direction. More proof that new technologies are helping to improve road safety in Quebec! This could be useful when you’re on vacation with your family.
And in some vehicles, the steering wheel is adjusted before you do anything! Even better, Ford’s SuperCruise system changes lanes at the driver’s request!
3- Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind spot monitoring systems detect vehicles in hard-to-see areas. If you activate a turn signal to change lanes and there is a vehicle in the blind spot, the sensor issues a warning using a variety of signals to avoid a potential collision. Of course, this in-vehicle technology is growing in popularity, but it is not intended to replace the driver’s normal checks and precautions. Road safety remains the responsibility of the driver behind the wheel.
4- Improved field of vision
Some motorists now swear by head-up displays. This feature projects valuable information onto the windshield, in the driver’s forward field of vision. Information such as vehicle speed, route or potential collision warnings are centralized in one place, eliminating the need to keep your eyes on the road and consult multiple screens or devices at once.
And, still with the goal of improving road safety, some models also offer night vision capabilities. If you don’t like driving in the dark, this could be a feature to consider.
5- Surround and rear view cameras
The use of cameras improves overall visibility around the vehicle. The rearview camera, for example, gives drivers a better view of what’s going on behind their vehicle when backing up. To try it is to adopt it! Not only does it make parking the car easier, it also helps prevent collisions with people or vehicles that can sometimes appear suddenly and without warning.
6- Adaptive Cruise Control
The cruise control of yesteryear has had a facelift! Adaptive cruise control is the state-of-the-art in cruise control. It now allows the driver to maintain a constant, pre-set distance from the vehicle in front.
This system of sensors and radars maintains the distance between the two vehicles, accelerating when necessary and slowing or braking when traffic becomes less fluid. A feature that not only makes the driver’s job easier, but also improves road safety for all users.
7- Biometric technologies
New biometric technologies could eventually allow drivers to access their cars without a physical key. Facial recognition is beginning to be used to lock and unlock doors. Fingerprint recognition could eventually be used to start a car. Now that’s something to keep thieves away!
Technology and road safety: a few tips
What a pleasure it is to take possession of a new, state-of-the-art vehicle! While it’s normal to feel a certain excitement at the thought of trying out all the gadgets, it does take some getting used to to appreciate all the new possibilities.
– Active Driving
All these on-board technologies are obviously paving the way for vehicles with higher levels of automation. But they can never replace driving experience and skill. Drivers must remain vigilant, obey the rules of the road, and not lose the good reflexes they acquired before the introduction of these assistance systems.
– Know your vehicle
To get the most out of these new technologies, take the time to familiarize yourself with their features before using them on public roads. Some of them can be configured or turned on and off as needed. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual.
– Inform your insurer
Don’t forget to contact your insurer to review your car insurance coverage. Vehicles with so much technology, cameras and radar are obviously more expensive. The cost of a claim will often increase accordingly. Contact our team to discuss your needs, or get a car insurance quote online today!