The automotive industry has continued to upgrade safety technology, and 2013 models will display the latest. The newest features, some industry firsts, are focused on enhanced visuals, driver alerts, and independent vehicle intelligence.
Auto makers have implemented complex camera and sensor systems, giving the driver access to view points they‘ve never had—or seen—before.
The 2013 Accord will feature Honda Lane Watch, a camera on the passenger mirror that monitors the ever problematic blind spot. A small screen on the dashboard projects the camera‘s image and indicates the distance from the next vehicle. The camera is activated automatically when the car‘s blinker is put on, or drivers can choose to access the camera at any time with the simple touch of a button. A camera series has also been mounted to the windshield behind the rear view mirror, which will alert the driver to lane departure and forward collisions (if the breaks have not yet been applied) with an audible warning.
Many Mercedes models showcase the Attention Assist system, which registers current driving conditions with driver pattern changes, and ascertains when the driver might be drowsy. If it senses the driver‘s attention has drifted, it sounds an alert. Mercedes also offers Active Blind Spot, Active Lane Keeping, Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Highbeams, and Nightview Assist PLUS, which includes pedestrian detection.
Ford‘s Fusion is equipped with a network of helpful systems. The Driver Alert system is similar to Mercedes‘ Attention Assist, and uses pattern detection to identify a drowsy driver. Driver Alert and Lane-Keeping systems use forward facing cameras. Sensors on the vehicle are utilized by Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control with collision warning, and the Blind Spot Information systems. Ford also offers pull-drift compensation built into the power steering.
GM‘s Cadillacs XTS and ATS are outfitted with a network of cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. The system provides alerts to lane departure, blind spot, rear traffic crossing, and forward collision. The forward collision warning setting is even adjustable, enabling the driver to decide how far in advance the warning is given. The Cadillacs also have Safety Seat Alert, which provides vibrations in the driver‘s seat on either the left or right, depending on which side the concern exists. If the impending collision is located in front of or behind the vehicle, the driver will feel vibrations on both sides. The seat alert system, an industry first, can be changed to a beeping noise if the driver feels seat vibrations are bothersome or not strong enough.
In another industry first, Infiniti has given several models Intelligent Brake Assist with Forward Collision warning. Out of all the braking and collision warning systems, this one actually combines the alerts with automatic vehicle intelligence. Once the warning of an impending collision is given, the car applies its brakes automatically.
In 2003 Toyota was the first to mass produce the self parking technology for Japanese buyers. Ten years later, the systems have advanced to provide alerts, automatic breaking, added visuals, and distance verification. The improvements are staggering, and will likely continue at an accelerated rate.