Man is fallible; to err is human. That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of accidents (nearly 95%) are caused by some sort of human error. With that statistic in mind, it stands to reason that the automotive industry is interested in removing humans from critical parts of the driving equation, and the newest driver assist technology does just that.
Most Innovative Forms of Driver Assistance
While the idea of a car was, in and of itself, rather innovative at one time, things have gotten far more technologically advanced in the last few years. These are just some of the most exciting trends in the auto industry when it comes to driver assist.
By using a vehicle’s integrated camera and radar, adaptive cruise control can detect when a slower car is on the road ahead and adjust accordingly. Depending upon the driver’s settings, the vehicle will follow at a pre-programmed distance and can even prompt the car to come to a complete stop if it encounters standstill traffic.
For many drivers, particularly urban dwellers who are constantly forced to eyeball parking spots, active park assist takes a huge stressor out of the driving experience. In fact, nearly a quarter of all new drivers name parallel parking as one of their biggest fears when it comes to getting behind the wheel, so this technology is clearly a welcome advancement. It relies on sonar and radar to measure and steer into empty parking spots, taking all of the work out of parking for drivers.
One of the most apparent dangers on the road, particularly when it comes to long-haul driving such as on the interstate, is simply born out of ignorance. Certain vehicles have rather large blind-spots; if a person decides to change lanes just as another car enters their blind-spot, it’s not negligence but bad timing that will cause a collision. Blind-spot monitoring eliminates that risk by alerting drivers through auditory alarms and visual cues that a car is in their blind-spot; this is achieved with the help of sensors and cameras on the car’s exterior.
While lane-departure warnings have become a fairly standard form of driver assistance in recent years, lane-keeping assist takes it one step further and will actually correct a driver’s course if they’re unintentionally veering outside of their lane. This technology makes small corrections to keep the car centered in the lane.
One of the most cutting-edge driver-assist technologies, certain luxury automakers have begun creating vehicles that utilize thermographic cameras in order to give drivers a glimpse into the cover of darkness, thus allowing them to avoid animals and other obstructions that would ordinarily be veiled.
Driving is an inherently risky endeavor by historical standards, but thanks to new technology and the trajectory for the future of automobiles, that fact is likely to change as advanced driver assist features continue to become more standard.