Our cars are full of many innovative technologies designed to help keep us safe and make driving easier. In fact, vehicle technologies are advancing so quickly, one day our vehicles might just drive themselves.
Here are some of the most notable advances and how they can help make driving safer:
Adaptive Cruise Control
This is the next generation of cruise control. Adaptive cruise control systems can sense vehicles ahead and adjust your speed to keep a safe following distance. Some systems incorporate emergency braking to help slow your vehicle to avoid a collision.
Designed to help illuminate the road ahead during turns, adaptive headlights can help improve nighttime visibility on curved roads. As you turn, the lights adjust to illuminate the roadway ahead.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
A requirement for years now, ABS is designed to keep your brakes from locking up when you stop. Even though ABS may not help you stop more quickly, it can help you maintain control of your vehicle when you stop by preventing your wheels from skidding.
This system automatically adjusts your headlights based on your surroundings. For example, if you drive into a tunnel, it turns them on, and once you emerge, it will turn them off again.
Once you have placed your vehicle in a position where the automatic parking system can take over, multiple sensors detect obstacles and calculate steering angles while guiding your vehicle into a parking spot.
Backup alarms can help alert you to objects behind you. Backup cameras allow you to see directly behind your vehicle in spots that otherwise might not be seen.
Blind Spot Monitoring
Now you can get a heads up when another car is in your blind spot. Sensors around your vehicle give you a warning when another car is detected. Depending on the vehicle, warnings can be visual, audible or tactile.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
This has been around since the late ‘90s, and as of 2012 was required in all newly manufactured vehicles. The system can help detect when a skid is about to occur, or is already occurring, and can help you stay in control by selectively applying the brakes to different wheels.
Forward Collision Warning
This system may use radar, laser or camera sensors to detect when a crash is imminent. Once detected, the system alerts the driver to take action. Some of these systems are capable of braking automatically and preparing for a crash by pre-charging the brakes and tightening seatbelts.
Lane Departure Warning
Lane departure warning systems alert you with a warning if you drift out of your lane.
These technologies, and others yet to be developed, are changing how we drive and helping to make driving safer. No matter how amazing these advances are, though, it is important to remember who is really in the driver’s seat. Use these technologies to help you stay safer on the road. Drive at safe speeds, watch your blind spots and always stay attentive, even if your vehicle has technology designed to help you with these important tasks.