Innovation: Ten latest car safety features

Innovation: Ten latest car safety features

Ten of the latest car safety features bringing innovation to your driving experience

Auto Car Parking

When engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point seat-belt in 1959, it was a quantum leap in car safety. But the innovations of the 21st century make his life-saving invention look positively outdated.

Nowadays, manufacturers focus as much on equipment that prevents you from having an accident. As they do on features that protect you when things go awry. The result is a plethora of seemingly space-age kit to keep you out of harm’s way. Here are seven of the best, and ones to look out for when you’re choosing a new model.

1. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)

Everyone’s attention wanders from time to time. But if you’re piloting a automobile, that can be fatal. AEB, available from manufacturers as diverse as BMW, Subaru and Ford. These all are uses sensors to detect the proximity of obstacles in front.

If it looks like you are going to crash, it applies the brakes, thereby minimizing the force of the impact or speeds.

Emergency Braking System

2. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Using the latest forward sensor technology, ACC enables you to maintain a constant distance from the car in front, up to your chosen maximum speed.

If the leading car slows, your car automatically follows suit. And when it speeds up, you do likewise. Now a common feature, you will find it on vehicles made by most mainstream manufacturers, including SEAT, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

3. Lane Assist

It has been commonplace for some time in premium cars to have a system that alerts you when you drift out of your motorway lane, maybe with a buzzer or a vibrating seat.

Lane assist

But lane assist, fitted to cars including Volvo’s range of SUV (XC40, XC60 and XC90) and many new Toyota's, goes one better: it gently nudges the steering wheel if you wander, ensuring you stay on the straight and narrow.

4. Blind spot detection

No amount of neck craning replicates the visibility of blind spot detection sensors, available on new Volvo's, Audi's and Hyundai's among others.

These monitor the road on either side of your car and flash a visual warning if there is a vehicle in your blind spot while you are indicating to change lanes.

5. Rear Cross-traffic Assist

It's impossible to reverse out of a blind driveway when you don't know there is traffic approaching at behind you. But rear cross-traffic assist, available from manufacturers including Fiat, Infinity and VW, uses sensors to monitor the road on either side, giving a visual and audible warning if there is something coming.

Rear Cross-traffic Assist

6. Reverse Park Assist

Many motorists get hot under the collar at the thought of a parallel park. But with reverse park assist technology, widely deployed by carmakers such as Volvo, Vauxhall and Ford, you simply hit a button, gently squeeze the throttle and the car steers itself into position – making parking collisions a thing of the past.

7. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

The clever thing about ESC is not so much that it can control the car’s engine and brakes to mitigate the effects of a skid. It is that it can detect when a skid is likely to happen, and put in the hard work to per-empt it. A popular feature, you will find it on many new cars from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, KIA and Peugeot.

Electronic stability control

8. Adaptive Headlights

The days of being blinded by other drivers’ headlights or tentatively taking corners at night are a thing of the past. Adaptive headlights will always turn their beam in the direction the car is facing and adapt to the direction of your steering, allowing safer driving on curves, hills and importantly during poor visibility.

9. Reversing Camera

The blind spot behind every car was once regard as “the killing zone” – known for its high proportion of accidental rear collisions.

The introduction of a built-in high resolution video camera fitted to the rear of the vehicle displays all the immediate surroundings behind a vehicle and when paired with rear parking sensors, will sound an alert to make the driver aware of any obstacles or potential risk.

The reversing camera has been a vital addition for modern motorists and become a huge peace of mind for families.

10. Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving is one of the newest safety features on the market and a huge step in transferring power from the driver to vehicle AI.

Autonomous driving

Auto driving features such auto-brake, collision warning, pedestrian detection. Park assist are just some of the systems ushering in a new wave of technology aimed at making our vehicles safer, more intelligent and ultimately, driver less.

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