The car safety market is expected to grow to $258.3 billion in size by 2025, according to Industry Arc. Automotive road travel is perhaps the most dangerous mode of travel in history. But technology has progressed to a point where we can make driving as safe as we possibly can. It’s all a matter of knowing which state of the art gadgets we can fit onto our vehicles to fit that purpose the best.
Headlights that point where you need them to
If you have ever driven on a lonesome, poorly lit country road, you’ve probably wished you had headlights on the sides of your vehicle so you can see in the direction you’re turning to. That’s exactly what adaptive headlights address. Coming in a few different iterations, the main aim of this piece of tech is to eliminate the disadvantages of fixed headlight systems.
The most common form of adaptive headlights are simple cornering lights. If you’ve driven a relatively new model from a mid to high trim level, you might have seen cornering lights in action. These smaller headlights are placed flanking the main ones, and automatically switch on whenever you turn the steering wheel or engage the turn signal in their direction. But the more modern ones consist of bulbs placed on swivels that automatically turn as you turn your steering wheel. Higher-tech versions automatically detect the curvature of the road and turn on their own without needing input from the steering wheel. In addition, these modern headlights also automatically disengage the high beams when sensors detect a car passing by on the other lane.
Brakes that automatically prevent crashes
It’s a lot easier to get distracted on the road in this day and age. All it takes to get into a fatal accident is a couple seconds of being dazzled by bright neon lights at night, or staring at your phone trying to read a text without picking it up from the dashboard mount. That’s where Automatic Emergency Braking comes in. This safety feature is designed to prevent accidents before they happen, automatically engaging the brakes once it detects an imminent collision.
A similar technology exists in Dynamic Brake Support. Sometimes, a driver might notice that he or she is about to crash but fail to apply enough brake pressure to prevent a fatal collision. Dynamic Brake Support automatically detects how much more pressure is needed to neutralize the threat of a lethal crash and applies that pressure itself. Considering how important brakes are to saving lives on the road, it’s recommended that you keep an eye out for what car models and makes are equipped with this tech.
Facial recognition systems that keep drivers alert
Previous driver attentiveness systems relied on head positioning alone to determine whether or not you had your full attention on the road. As some drivers who tested this tech out will tell you, the effect can be hit or miss at times. Modern driver alertness tech is now being powered by facial recognition, using everything from eye tracking to head angle and even facial expression to determine whether you were sufficiently paying attention.
The technology has yet to be perfected, but even now new models are being rolled out with the experimental tech to see how well it fares in action. Newer still is the theft-prevention feature that will prevent the car from being started and lock the wheels in the event that an unfamiliar person sits down in the driver seat. That feature is still in its experimental stage, but is expected to enter commercial use very soon.
While some of these technologies are still in their infancy, they offer a peek into what’s to come for vehicles. What was once the most precarious form of travel can be as safe as riding on an airplane, thanks to inventions like these.