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Prioritizing the Passenger: How Car Technology is Evolving to Improve Safety

Car technology has come a long way and continues to surprise with new and innovative safety features, writes CHARLIE FLETCHER

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Car technology
Photo by Ildar Garifullin on Unsplash

As technology has advanced, so too have the devices we use in our everyday lives. It is so commonplace now for companies to constantly release new products featuring the latest tech that we don’t often give it much thought.

However, there are some products that we should give more thought to beyond their shiny, new aesthetics and the simple appeal of fancy gadgetry.

Carmakers, for example, like so many other industries, are constantly releasing new models with the latest and greatest tech.

And most people will admit to loving that new, fresh car smell and the delight of playing with all of the fancy new features. But something we should perhaps pay a bit more attention to is the safety features.

How Modern Tech is Changing the Auto Industry

Innovation in the automotive industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, particularly where safety features are concerned.

In the past, car manufacturers often prioritized the aesthetic appeal of a car and how it could enhance your life by getting you from point A to point B.

It was all about marketing a vehicle to show it off in a way that disguised the potential hazards and dangers that came with driving a car.

Car safety features were often glossed over for fear that buyers would be hesitant to purchase if they knew what safety features existed and why they were necessary.

Today, however, there is more of a priority to protect the passenger over promoting the aesthetic appeal of a vehicle. That’s not to say that car brands don’t still show off fancy new designs, but when it comes to building the car, safety is now a priority.

This is likely in part due to stricter regulations and laws set forth by motor vehicle safety administrations, but it is also more of a focus now thanks to technology.

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Where car owners in the past were turned off by talk of potential dangers and the need for safety features, now they see the latest tech being used to protect them as cool new features. And as such, manufacturers now use tech and car safety features as major selling points.

What Factors to Consider When Buying a New Car

Despite safety now being a priority for carmakers, not all consumers consider their safety when buying a new car. Younger buyers, especially, tend to pick a vehicle based on its aesthetic appeal, but it is wise for everyone to prioritize safety over style. Though having a cool new car certainly has its appeal, buyers should always consider the safety features as well when making a purchase decision.

Luckily, today, most cars that hit the market are both appealing in design and come equipped with the latest technology.

However, no two cars are the same, and some will have more safety features than others. And there are, of course, many other things to consider when buying a new car, such as budget, fuel efficiency, comfort, and more. But it is important for buyers to highly consider safety features as well when considering which car to buy.

These can include

  • Standard safety features
  • Collision prevention
  • Speed control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Vision and headlight safety features
  • Parking assists
  • Lane assists
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Driver attention monitors

These are just some of the many features available today, and they all have their benefits. Overall, the features a buyer looks for should match their needs and put their safety as well as the safety of their passengers first.

Someone who will be driving with young children, for example, may want to prioritize more safety features or certain features over others to ensure their young ones are well protected.

In contrast, someone who is using their vehicle for travel or off-roading may prioritize entirely different safety features altogether.

Top Car Safety Technology Features

As technology continues to advance, the features that become available will continue to improve overall vehicle safety as well. Below are some of the latest car safety technology features available or soon to come that potential car buyers should be on the lookout for:

Animal and Pedestrian Detection

Accidents with large animals and pedestrians can be devastating. This safety feature is a type of override feature that uses cameras to detect animals or pedestrians nearby that could end up in the path of the vehicle.

If an animal or pedestrian is detected, the system will take over and apply the brakes to stop or slow the vehicle.

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Override Systems

Most vehicles since 2020 have been designed with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can prevent collisions with other vehicles, objects, pedestrians, or animals.

As described above, these systems generally use cameras or sensors to detect things nearby and will take over for the driver if a collision is imminent.

External Airbags

External airbags are not yet readily available but may soon be. This feature uses sensors to detect when a collision is going to occur and deploys external airbags to prevent damage to the vehicle and the passengers.

By doing so, the force of the collision is displaced and spread out along the vehicle, which reduces the energy from the force hitting one specific area.

Collision Warning

Forward collision warning systems (FCW) are now readily available in vehicles built by major car brands. These systems do not take over for the driver, but they use audio, visual, and tactile alerts to warn drivers about potential crashes. This feature has been shown to reduce accidents by 27%.

Lane Assists

Lane assist features are not widely available, but they are available in some newer models. A lane-centering assist (LCA) system uses forward-facing cameras to detect the lane markings on the road. If the driver crosses a lane marking without intending to actually change lanes, the lane assist responds by automatically recentering the vehicle.

Wrapping Up

Car technology has come a long way and continues to surprise with new and innovative safety features. Though not all of the latest tech features are readily available, potential car buyers should keep these features in mind when making a decision.

And as the auto industry paves the way for electric vehicles (EVs) and other modern, high-tech cars, consumers should continue to pay close attention to safety features.

It’s easy to get distracted by the array of shiny features and gadgets, but your safety and the safety of your passengers should always be your number one priority.

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@TechEconomyNG connects past-present-emerging technological impacts on Businesses, People and Cities. All Correspondence to: [email protected]

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