While we get ever closer to driverless cars, many technological advancements are making driving safer for drivers themselves, and for other road users.
Common technological features that are available in older vehicles include cameras and sensors that provide alerts about the surrounding area. Are you about to reverse into a wall? The sensor will let you know.
As these sensors have become more advanced, and the cameras have gained intelligence through the use of AI and computer vision, they are often capable of preventing accidents from occurring. (1)
The Computer, Your Co-Pilot
As a human driver, you are always attempting to be aware of what is happening around you. It only takes a momentary lapse of focus for disaster to strike, but modern technology can help out. If you try and change lane and there’s a vehicle next to you, the automatic system will warn you.
Losing focus on the road and slowly drifting to another lane? You might be notified, or the onboard system might steer you back to where you are meant to be. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can even keep you going straight when driving on slippery surfaces by individually controlling each wheel.
Going too fast and about to hit the car in front? Or perhaps you’re driving through the country and a wild animal has jumped into the road – automatic braking has saved lives around the world.
With the combination of cameras and sensors, the computer can build a full picture of what is going on around you and can even automatically brake if you are reversing into a space that suddenly has an unwanted visitor in it. (2)
Taking The Easy Road
It’s not just monitoring technology that can make roads safer, GPS and guidance systems can help too. Internet-connected navigation can assist in taking you down routes with less traffic, lowering the chance of an incident occurring, with the added benefit of getting you to your destination more quickly.
The greatest benefit of computer assisted driving is that the system will never tire. Even if you become tired, the software will still alert you to any problems. It’s never a good idea to drive when you are in need of rest, but it’s good to know that there is an always-fresh co-pilot looking out for your wellbeing.
As we gradually begin to rely more and more on technology for everything in our lives, it is reassuring to know that the technology that will one day bring us truly autonomous vehicles is being put to good use today.