On average, people keep their new cars for 6 years or longer. In terms of new automotive technology, that’s practically forever. If you haven’t shopped for a new car in a while you may be surprised and maybe even confused by the advances in technology. Many new tech features are focused on connectivity and driver convenience while others are dedicated to helping you stay safe and designed by providing assistance to the driver. While fully-autonomous, self-driving cars are still a ways off (though not as far as you might think) the foundations are being laid with vehicles that offer a range of safety-related driver assistance features. While manufacturers vary in their application and integration of these safety features, here are several that are now common and in many cases, standard on new vehicles.
- External View Cameras – Simply shift into reverse and you’ll get a clear view of what’s behind you. In many cases there are multiple views available including wide-angles and even 360 degree views.
- Active Stability Systems – Refinements in these areas give vehicles the ability to instantly assess traction and braking conditions and automatically make adjustments accordingly.
- Lane Departure Warning – These systems respond to unindicated lane departures from detected lanes. If you start to drift the system will alert you via sound, flashing lights or seat vibration.
- Road Departure Mitigation – If your vehicle detects that it’s drifting too close to the edge of the road without a turn signal activated the system can provide steering input to help keep you on the road or braking input to help keep you from going off it.
- Forward Collision Warning – This system uses a small, forward-facing camera to detect the presence of vehicles in front of you and will warn you if you get too close.
- Collision Mitigation Braking – This system applies the brakes when it senses an unavoidable collision with a vehicle or object in front of you. It can help reduce the severity of collisions at higher speeds and may help you avoid them all together at lower speeds
- Radar Cruise Control – This system uses radar to judge the relative speed and distance of the car in front of you and will automatically adjust your vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe distance.