The automotive world has made leaps and bounds in the past few decades when it comes to fuel efficiency and economy. Fuel economy is a huge selling point of automobiles, however, it isn’t the only one; safety features have been a long-standing source of research for potential car buyers, and the automotive industry has taken an increasing interest in the development of such techniques. It used to be that seatbelts and airbags were the only safety features included in the design of a car; however, vehicle safety has evolved into a huge business in and of itself. There have been significant advances in this field, and they are not going unnoticed by consumers. Some features that are becoming more common in the everyday vehicle are navigation systems, backup cameras, and self-parking systems, or automated control options. In fact, these features have become so common, that it is typical for prospective car buyers to look specifically for these features in any car they intend on purchasing. Advanced safety systems are available in many family vehicles, as well as luxury vehicles. Some of the most recent innovations are impressive, and bring car envy to a new level.
Backup cameras have become common, mostly in family vehicles, but in other types as well. A backup camera allows you to have a wider range of visibility when backing up your car in addition to extending the field of vision past what the human eye is capable of in the traditional “backup” stance we all learned in drivers education classes—simply looking over your right shoulder won’t cut it, as some of us have learned the hard way after backing into another parked car or a moving vehicle. Most backup cameras come with some kind of guidance mechanism that displays somewhat of a blueprint of where your car should go, how it should turn, and how well you are adhering to the guidelines. Based on basic mathematical calculations, backup systems are incredibly accurate and provide the driver with a better feel for backing up safely.
Blind spot warning
Another recent innovation in vehicle safety features is blind spot warning. Much like the backup system, blind spot warning helps the driver’s field of vision extend beyond what the human eye may be capable of seeing—especially if the architecture of the vehicle itself is getting in the way. We are all familiar with that nagging blind spot in our cars that we’ve always felt was part of an unintelligible design—what were they thinking when they put that there? Fortunately, blind spot warning safety features can eliminate some of the risk that’s associated with this common insurance claim. No longer do drivers have to use the excuse, “they were in my blind spot!” No matter how carefully we adjust our rear and side-view mirrors, sometimes those simple pieces of glass just don’t cut it anymore. Generally this feature is available by way of warning lights close to the side-view mirrors that will illuminate when there is an unseen obstacle in the way of your vehicle.
Lane departure warning
Another safety feature that has become quite common in vehicles nowadays is lane departure warnings. It used to be that those pesky little bumps that divide lanes were our only way of determining when we were deviating from our lane, but now drivers can become more aware of whether or not they’re staying in their lanes. Some vehicles offer this feature in a visual or auditory warning of some kind, and some vehicles take this even a step further; newer luxury vehicles in particular may be equipped with automated control systems that can correct the driver’s trajectory to keep the vehicle in the designated lane, avoiding collisions with vehicles next to them. This is a somewhat controversial safety feature, because it involves automation—not all drivers are comfortable with this feature. However, the likelihood that it could prevent an accident is invaluable, and prospective car buyers should not ignore that. Other safety features like forward collision alerts are also helpful in preventing accidents, and may also include a form of automated control. In any case, the newest safety features are complicated technologically, and have brought the need for a new wave of automobile technicians.
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