If you’re driving along in Ohio and see a smart-looking new vehicle in an adjacent lane, you might be surprised to find out just how truly “smart” that automobile is. Technological changes in the form of on-board safety features designed to help drivers avoid car accidents are inundating the automotive industry, cheered along at every new developmental juncture by government regulators and safety advocates.
The magazine Consumer Reports has recently taken a close look at some of the more notable developments that have hit the pavement recently.
One of those that the publication likes is an alert system that activates when a vehicle is in a driver’s blind spot. “I just didn’t see it” is the refrain uttered many thousands of times across the country each year after a blind-spot accident, and the new technology contributes strongly toward reducing that particular danger.
So, too, will the 360-degree camera that Nissan has developed and other auto makers are working on. Consumer Reports notes that it will “prove really beneficial in tight quarters.”
Consumer Report testers are not so laudatory regarding certain safety features that they say have “sensitivity” issues remaining to be worked out. For example, technology that lets a driver know he or she has drifted out of a lane can be irritating and distracting for routinely activating every time a driver nears a center line. Testers have similarly noted that a pre-crash warning system sometimes alerts drivers to situations that are decidedly mundane and without potential danger.
Exciting times are coming for drivers, with a certainty that on-board technology will grow increasingly refined and progressively sophisticated.
Related Resource: CBS Atlanta, “New car safety features put to the test” Aug. 12, 2011