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Five futuristic safety features

27/03/2018 by Rory Deegan in Safety

Car safety has come a long, long way in recent years with features that once seemed unimaginable now becoming commonplace. In a few years the technology available in today's hi-tech prestige vehicles will be standard equipment, or even compulsory, in even the most basic cars. Equipment such as pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and night vision systems will simply be taken for granted.

So what's around the corner in vehicle safety? Let's take a look at five technologies heading our way:

So what's around the corner in vehicle safety? Let's take a look at five technologies heading our way:

If only cars could talk to one another, then we'd know when some idiot was running a red light or when a car had broken down in front of us and we needed to slow down. Well in future cars will be able to do just that. They'll use wireless communication networks to tell each other what they're doing, how fast they're doing it and where they're heading, building up a dynamic detailed view of their surroundings. With all that information being exchanged instantly accidents will be avoided and safety on the roads will be greatly improved.

Vehicle to infrastructure communication

Vehicle communication technology won't end with cars just talking to other cars. Road infrastructure like stop signs, traffic lights, school zones and temporary road works warnings will talk to cars as well, warning them of what's ahead and preparing them for action. That will go a long way to eliminating nasty surprises on the road and make for safer driving all round.

Augmented Reality Windshields

You might think head-up displays in cars are pretty neat but it's really only a taste of what's to come. Augmented Reality Windshields are a little like Google Glass for your entire windscreen, picking out every object in view and identifying potential hazards. Warnings and information about the driving environment will be right in front of you along with everything else in your head-up display.

The technology is amazing, but it does raise the question of how much information is useful to the driver, and how much is just distracting overload.

Driver health monitoring

A heart attack at any time is a potential tragedy in the making but when it happens behind the wheel of a car it can be catastrophic. Driver health monitoring technology uses sensors in the seat, seatbelt and steering wheel to detect heart attacks and other health emergencies and alert the driver and passenger.

But it goes further than that. The car will be programmed to pull over to the side of the road, switch off and call emergency services. Ford is currently experimenting with a number of such systems.

Self-driving cars

Drivers are responsible for at least 90% of traffic accidents. So the ultimate safety feature in cars has to be the one that removes its most dangerous component - the driver.

To date the safety record of experimental self-driving cars has been outstanding. Google's self-driving cars have caused no accidents after several years of testing. German company Continental AG has had similar success with its semi-automated self-driving systems that are due to go on the market in the coming years.

So when will all this technology start appearing in the cars you drive? Well the answer to that is wait and see. One thing's for sure, however, motoring's guaranteed to get a lot safer in the coming years.

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