Technology is an amazing thing. Everyday something new is invented and we wonder “how did I ever live without this???” This is especially true when it comes to vehicles these days.
I remember when “bells and whistles” consisted of automatic window and heated seats. Now a days a standard vehicle comes with fully automatic EVERYTHING along with new safety features. While Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control Systems (TCS) are also a standard now, rearview cameras and back-up sensors are common on most sedans and SUVs . We now have vehicles that can self-park and stop themselves to avoid an accident. But is this technology too much?
The latest technology lies in Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking is the latest in vehicle safety. By using lasers, radars and cameras the new forward collision warning (FCW) systems can detect objects in the road and determine the shape based on an object library in their computer system. From there, it will determine if there is a threat present of collision and project an audible warning. If no action is taken by the driver, it then will engage the Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to either slow or fully stop the vehicle.
With each advancement, we also seem retrain ourselves. With ABS, do not pump the breaks. With TCS, do not punch the accelerator and expect a kick of power when it decides for a smoother acceleration. Back up cameras… you mean I’m still supposed to physically turn around and look behind me??? With FCW and AEB, the natural will to stop the vehicle will always remain, but this new age technology will back-up your natural instincts.
Identifying and learning about all of the safety options available on each vehicle can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately the University of Iowa and National Safety Council have produced a highly informative Web Portal to steer you to the safety technologies by vehicle. http://mycardoeswhat.org/.
While we still must rely on ourselves as the forefront of safety while operating a vehicle, all of the major advances in technology have helped in lessening severity of crashes and providing a little back up to human error.