From the 1970’s anti-lock brakes to 2010’s self-braking cars, new car technology has come a long way. But how much of the current new car technology offers real safety features for drivers and how much of the new car technology is merely a sales gimmick?
For those of us of a certain age, we’ve seen many new car innovations over the years, some good and some not so much. The anti-lock braking system was one of those good innovations, but do we really need, or even want, a car that can brake itself?
New car technology has developed software programs that enable new cars to steer, accelerate and brake on their own, and that’s just the beginning. These new car technologies are marketed as safety features for the car’s driver and passengers.
Do you want your car to monitor your blind spots while you are driving and alert you when another car comes too close for comfort? How about a new car that will prevent you from falling asleep at the wheel while driving? Perhaps you want a new car that will open the door for you? New car technology has developed all of these features and more, marketed as car safety features but skeptically viewed as sales gimmicks.
You can even buy a new car that comes with the technology that aims at keeping you in your own driving lane via a vibrating steering wheel. Should you veer out of your lane while driving, camera sensors in the windshield will detect it and vibrate the steering wheel to alert you. The idea of this new car safety feature would be to give the veering driver a gentle reminder that he or she has went out of the bounds of their driving lane and should correct their steering and return to their own lane. While I have shared the road with many drivers who seemed to be having difficulty deciding which lane they wanted to drive in, a vibrating steering wheel in their new car sounds like a good idea to me.
But what if the sudden onset of a vibrating steering wheel startled the driver and caused the offending driver to over-correct their driving? No worries, if the car is equipped with the new car technology of a self-correcting driving system, designed to get you back on track, back in your driving lane and take you further down the road in safety.
Other new car technologies include the development of an electronic web around some new car models that provides safety for the car’s occupants in event of a car crash. New car technology even enables new cars to communicate with each other. What they would discuss remains shrouded in exhaust fumes, however.
Flashing lights, opening doors, chimes and vibrating steering wheels are all part of the new car technology marketed as car safety features. They are also reminiscent of bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors. Real safety features or sales gimmicks? Consumers will decide.