Ever since the inception of the automobile, the seatbelt and the airbag have been the most notable instances of technology being developed to improve safety for drivers.
Today, automobile manufacturers are focusing more on developing sophisticated technology which will hopefully, one day be installed in each and every car to make our roads substantially safer.
Airbags are used to minimise injuries to drivers in the event of a crash. However, car makers are now also looking at applying similar technologies to the exterior of vehicles in an attempt to protect pedestrians and animals who may collide with the vehicle.
For example, the Land Rover Discovery comes with a sensor tube in the bumper which can detect if a pedestrian has been hit and can deploy an airbag on the windshield to cushion them and soften the impact.
Lane Departure Warning
Staying in your lane isn’t simply considered good manners on the road, it is also to reduce the risk of an accident. In an attempt to discourage lane jumping without indicating, lane departure systems warn drivers when this is happening. More advanced systems can even go beyond a warning and intervene with braking and steering corrections.
Emergency Brake Assist
The window for timely application of brakes in the face of a collision is nothing more than a few seconds. With different drivers all possessing different reaction times, emergency brake features can help identify when brakes are being applied in a panic and initiate a maximum brake faster than a human would be capable of.
This system can reduce the normal stopping distance by 45%.
Front Collision Warning System
Head-on impacts can be deadly; to combat these problems, manufacturers are designing systems that can quickly detect impending frontal collisions and reduce the impact. Radar scans can detect the presence of other vehicles, pedestrians, etc. and monitor the distance between these and the vehicle and speeds they are moving at.
Warning mechanisms can inform the driver or automatically take control and brake the vehicle.
Thanks to these systems the future may see all new and second hand cars for sale fitted with these safety features as standard.