Roadways of the future are bound to be safer for drivers and pedestrians alike, as improving technology paves the way for smarter cars and more alert individuals. These new technologies were demonstrated earlier this month in Detroit at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, showing promise for better controlled, safer vehicles.
Among the latest safety features being showcased at the event was a radio transmitter that alerts a car when a pedestrian is about to cross its path. The new technology, being developed by Denso, reads the signals coming from a pedestrian’s cellphone and can immediately determine whether or not the two will collide. Eventually, cars could even be made to apply the brakes in these situations. The system is still at least five years away from being complete, but once it is ready to go, it could greatly cut down on pedestrian casualties. There were 4,473 pedestrian deaths in 2012, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
For those who drive in treacherous icy conditions every winter, having a better sense of where black ice patches are on the road could be a saving grace. Every year, black ice is responsible for multiple vehicle pile-ups, damaging cars, injuring drivers and sometimes causing fatalities. New technology is being developed that would alert other cars on the road when the first car hits a patch of black ice. By monitoring weather conditions and road conditions, as well as the activation of anti-lock brakes and traction control in other cars, sensors would be able to relay that information to the driver and allow them to react faster to a potentially hazardous situation.
While some semi self-driving technology exists today, it is expensive and not a standard feature in most cars. Aisin, a Japanese auto-parts manufacturer, plans on making self-braking technology a more affordable option and standard feature in mainstream cars. Self-braking camera sensors can detect children, other cars and large animals, like deer, when they are in a car’s path and automatically brake, even if the driver does not manually apply the brakes. Thanks to advances in camera technology, Aisin hopes this new feature will become standard by the year 2020.
Safety features have always been one of, if not the most important feature car buyers look for in a new car. As auto manufacturers continue to benefit from improvements in technology, advancing safety features in cars remains a priority.