Enhancing Road Safety Through Technology — 3 Vehicle Safety Features to Look Out For

Cars killed 42,060 people in 2020, up from 39,107 in 2019, according to a preliminary estimate from the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit that focuses on eliminating preventable deaths. That said, safety should be the number one priority on the road at all times, and many automakers are taking that into account with new and innovative technology. From general crash prevention via automatic braking systems to how a better view can help when parking, and even the research involved with AI, here’s what you should look out for.

The value in crash prevention technology

Due to the sheer amount of road accidents that take place, there’s no question that safety should be a priority when on the road, especially in higher risk locations like Fort Worth, Texas, which is considered to be the fifth deadliest city in the state for auto accidents. With many accidents resulting in life threatening injury, taking legal action by getting an experienced car accident attorney involved is often a must in order to pursue both justice, as well as compensation for factors like lost wages and medical expenses. 

Ten automakers — including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Tesla, BMW, Hyundai, MAzda, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen — fulfilled a voluntary commitment in 2020 (which happened to be earlier than the 2022—23 goal) to install almost all of their new light vehicles with automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology. With each company installing the tech in more than 95% of their vehicles produced between September 1st of 2019 and August 31st of 2020, and is expected to make great strides in preventing road accidents. In fact, the pledge is actually expected to prevent some 42,000 crashes resulting in 20,000 injuries by 2025, according to an estimate based on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) research. 

A bird’s eye view 

While many newer vehicle models offer rear-vision cameras to help you back up safely, a newer version of this involves a 360-degree view of your vehicle instead. Also known as overhead vision, this feature allows drivers to have more visibility than ever before, allowing them to navigate tough, tight spaces with ease. At Nissan Motor Corporation, the Around View Monitor is defined as a support technology that assists drivers to park in an easier way by understanding the vehicle’s surroundings via a virtual bird’s eye view from above the vehicle. In turn, this helps the driver to confirm the vehicle’s position, relative to the objects and parking lines.

Reducing stress with AI?

With reports suggesting that 74% of people admit to feeling stressed or overwhelmed every day, there’s no question that driving while stressed can be unsafe — especially should stress lead to distracted driving, or reducing your alertness/judgment when on the road. To combat stress while driving, Jaguar Land Rover is researching new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in order to understand a driver’s state of mind — and adjusting cabin settings to improve their wellbeing. Through a mood-detection system that will use the latest AI tech, the system will be  able to adapt to a driver’s facial expressions and adjust cabin settings accordingly (not to mention it’ll be able to learn a driver’s preferences over time). As part of its goal to create a sanctuary in each of its luxury vehicles, the automaker aims to ensure that everyone inside stays comfortable while “ensuring the driver remains mindful, alert and in control.”

Due to the number of preventable accidents that occur on the road, there’s no doubt that safety is a major component to any vehicle, whether it be luxury or not. With automatic braking systems, cameras that bring a new perspective to the table, and the futuristic endeavors of AI, there’s no doubt that safety is in the minds of a number of automakers out there.

Author: Brandon Park