The roads are going to be a little safer in 2009… for those who can afford the newest gadgets for their cars, that is. Here are the gizmos set for release.
- Adaptive headlights – If your eyeballs can loll around in their sockets, this innovation can, too. As your car swerves, turns, or rounds a corner, the headlights follow your path, making sure the coast’s clear throughout your entire trip.
- Adaptive cruise control – It’s the game of “Follow the Leader”… motorized! Depending on the speed of the car in front, which this mechanism constantly monitors, adaptive cruise control accelerates and decelerates your speed so that we mere mortals won’t have to perform any last-minute manoeuvres to prevent accidents.
- Blind spot detection – If the last speeding vehicle that almost had your car sent to the junkyard leaves you cowering in your seat, this technology might just assuage your fears. Radars attached to the rear of your vehicle can detect if a car on either lane is too close for comfort, then project its position on a video screen by the rearview mirror, and send a warning alarm.
- Emergency brake assistance – So you missed hitting a car’s bumper by a mere millimetre the other day and almost died of a heart attack. Brake assist is just the thing to soothe your nerves. It is a system proposed by the European Commission for cars to be issued beginning 2009, and works to bring the vehicle to a full stop whenever it senses an incoming collision. Since drivers don’t always step on the brakes with enough force to prevent impact, brake assist remedies just that. It either requires manual steering or stops the car automatically. Others are equipped with warning lights and sounds too.
- Forward collision warning – Terrified of making a dent on Dad’s Mercedes? You won’t be anymore, with forward collision warning. Sensors monitor the distance between your car and the vehicle (or any other stationary object) in front, so you can loosen your grip on the steering wheel a little bit, if necessary. If anything’s amiss, it will jerk your seatbelt, ring an alarm, or pound the brakes. Other cautionary devices are available.
- Push-button start – Worried that someone might break into your car and speed away in it? With the push-button start, your vehicle won’t come to life for just anybody. It has to sense an electronic key fob (which you hopefully won’t lose) first.