If you are lucky enough to own a car, you are living in some of the best times to have one. Year after year technological advancements make driving easier, more convenient, and even enjoyable. More importantly though, vehicles are now much safer than they have ever been. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,719 people died in crashes in 2013, a huge decrease from the 43,510 fatalities in 2005. From safety advancements to luxury additions, here are the 7 best technologies revolutionizing your driving experience.
1. Lane-Keep Assist: Even the most careful drivers may get distracted and start drifting into another lane. Lane keep assist uses cameras or radars to monitor lane markings and either guides your car back into its own lane or notifies you by way of sound or steering column vibrations. Having technology to keep you from clipping a car on either side is pretty awesome.
2. Forward-Collision Mitigation: Vehicles with Forward-Collision Mitigation have systems that detect a possible threat ahead and alert the driver with an alarm or by vibrating the steering wheel column. Advanced systems of this type, usually found in luxury cars, can automatically bring the vehicle to a stop. Any day you can avoid a front end crash is a great day and preserves your insurance rates for a little longer.
3. Rear-view cameras: While some may consider this an unnecessary convenience, rear-view cameras provide much more benefit than just keep you from denting your bumper on a post. The added convenience for most drivers with newer cars is a great bonus but it’s the reducing in injury and death that is most notable about this feature. Children tend to be the victims of backovers in which the driver of a car, usually a parent or other family member, does not see the child and backs over them. Any technology advancement that can save a life is worth having which is why the NHTSA announced that all new vehicles would be required to have backup cameras by 2018.
3. Infotainment Systems: The infotainment frameworks in vehicles are being incorporated with our smart phones more and more with each model year. Bluetooth calling has been around for some time, yet now drivers can utilize voice orders while driving such as voice-to-text functions and read-a-text capabilities. While most safety organizations agree that any distraction is dangerous, infotainment systems are doing their part to integrate devices people use every day in a way that lessens the dangerous of driving while “multi-tasking”.
4. Car Lounge: You will be hard pressed to find this on most popular cars which are usually in the non-luxury category. However, companies like Mercedes-Benz have concept cars that actually allow you to lounge during your drive. With the integration of autonomous technology, passengers of vehicles with a lounge sit as if they are at a bar or restaurant, all facing each other.
There are many more safety and entertainment technologies out there are changing all of our driving experiences for the better. You can find this outside of your car with apps like Waze that help you avoid traffic, or eTags that makes registration renewal easier, and more. Get familiar with all of these new technologies and expect for your driving experience to get better every year.