Top 5 Car Safety Technologies for the Future

15 Sep, 2015 | 0 Comments

Top 5 Car Safety Technologies for the Future

The world around us is evolving fast with new and innovative technologies being introduced around us every other day

Category: Guide & FAQ

The auto industry too is keeping up with this trend and is devising revolutionary innovations to improve our safety on the roads. Here are a few such technologies that are being proposed which may become a crucial feature of car safety in the future.

Cars that communicate with each other and road
Car manufacturers and the U.S. government are researching technologies that would enable future cars to communicate with one another and with objects around them. A developing technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication, or V2V, is being tested by automotive manufacturers like Ford as a way to help reduce the amount of accidents on the road.

V2V works by using wireless signals to send information back and forth between cars about their location, speed and direction. The information is then communicated to the cars around it to provide information on how to maintain a safe distance between the two vehicles. A study put out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2010 says that V2V has the potential to reduce target vehicle crashes on the roads by 79%.
Researchers are also considering vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, or V2I which would allow vehicles to communicate with things like road signs or traffic signals and provide information to the vehicle about safety issues. It could also request traffic information from a traffic management system and access the best possible routes.

Self Driving Cars
Self driving cars are an idea which is widely portrayed in movies and TV shows. A self-driving car means one that can drive itself and this is currently being researched and tested. In California and Nevada, Google engineers have already tested self-driving cars on more than 200,000 miles of public highways and roads. These cars not only record images of the road, but their computerised maps view road signs, find alternative routes and see traffic lights before they are even visible to a person. By using lasers, radars and cameras, the cars can analyze and process information about their surroundings faster than a human can.

Cars that drive themselves would most likely have the option to engage in platooning, where multiple cars drive very close to each and act as one unit. Experts believe that platooning would decrease highway accidents because the cars would be communicating and reacting to each other simultaneously, without the on-going distractions that drivers face. Self-driving cars could make transportation safer for all of us by eliminating the accidents by human error, which is the cause of 95% of accidents today.

Augmented Reality Dashboards
In the near future cars will be able to identify external objects in front of the driver and display information about them on the windshield. Augmented Reality dashboards, AR for short looks at an object and automatically brings up information about them and can identify what they are. BMW has already implemented a windshield display in some of their vehicles which displays basic information and they are also developing augmented reality dashboards that will be able to identify objects in front a vehicle and tell the driver how far they are away from the object.

So if you're approaching a car too quickly, a red box may appear on the car you're approaching and arrows will appear showing you how to manoeuvre into the next lane before you collide with the other car. An augmented reality GPS system could highlight the actual lane you need to be in and show you where you need to turn down the road without you ever having to take your eyes off the road.

Airbags that help to stop cars
Airbags is a recent safety innovation that has been made mandatory for every car to ensure the passenger’s safety. And now Mercedes taking these a notch higher and is working on a new way to use airbags that moves them away from a passive safety measure and makes it part of an active safety system.

Mercedes is experimenting with airbags that deploy from underneath the car that will help stop a vehicle before a crash. The airbags are part of the overall active safety system and deploy when sensors determine that at impact is inevitable. The bags have a friction coating that helps slow the car down and can double the stopping power of the vehicle. The bags also lift the vehicle up to eight centimeters, which counters the car's dipping motion during hard braking, improves bumper-to-bumper contact and helps prevent passengers from sliding under seat belts during a collision.

Energy storing body panels
Hybrids are regarded as the future of cars as it offers the solution to energy and pollution problems. But the problem with hybrids is that the batteries take up a lot of space and are very heavy. Even with advances in lithium-ion batteries, hybrids have a significant amount of weight from their batteries. Energy storing body panels have therefore been considered as the solution to this problem.

In Europe, a group of nine auto manufacturers are currently researching and testing body panels that can store energy and charge faster than the conventional batteries of today. The body panels being tested are made of polymer fiber and carbon resin that are strong enough to be used in vehicles and pliable enough to be moulded into panels. These panels could reduce a car's weight by up to 15 percent.

The panels would capture energy produced by technologies like regenerative braking or when the car is plugged in overnight and then feed that energy back to the car when it's needed. Not only would this help reduce the size of hybrid batteries, but the extra savings in weight would eliminate wasted energy used to move the weight from the batteries.

None of the technologies mentioned above are completely developed or ready for manufacture. But major companies are putting in serious efforts in developing these. So only time can tell whether any of these will feature in our cars in the future. But one thing is sure, careful driving can provide you safety more than any technology. So keep it in mind and drive safe.

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