The Latest in Vehicle Safety Technology
How Technology Saves Your Life in a Car
Most of us take technology for granted. Many of the marvels of tech common in vehicles today are extremely complicated machinery tied to computers, yet we don’t even realize that they are working behind the scenes. Some are so sophisticated that your vehicle can actually seem to run like normal even if some major maintenance is needed.
In the coming years we will see even more technology integrated into vehicles. This technology will actively make driving easier, more comfortable, and safer. Here are a few of them that are already being implemented in some automobiles, and will become standard as time goes on.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Cruise control has been around for decades. It was first implemented into vehicles in the late 1940’s, and over time has been widely adapted. You would be hard pressed to find a vehicle without it. Soon, however, you will see a big transition on how the function works. It’s no longer a set it and click it off when you’re approaching a vehicle, then set it again, then click off…
Adaptive cruise control senses the vehicle in front of you, and adjusts your vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe distance. If traffic slows, the cruise control adjusts so that you stay safe. Once only available in luxury vehicles, it’s starting to be more common.
Heads Up Displays
Heads up displays made a big stir in the 1990’s… but then seemed to disappear. The technology wasn’t quite ready to be implemented in the mass market. As computers, LED, and software advanced, the new displays are customizable, easier to read, and can even be retrofitted to your vehicle.
New displays can help you keep your eyes on the road, and not take them off for those split seconds to check the GPS, your speed, or any other gauges.
Pre-Safe Sound is trademarked by Mercedes-Benz, but the technology is coming to more and more vehicles as time goes on. But what is it? It’s a mixture of science and technology to help your delicate inner ear in the event of a crash.
Crash detection software isn’t new, but it’s being taken to a whole new level. In certain Mercedes vehicles, an imminent crash will trigger the Pre-Safe sound. This sound, described as pink noise, will play inside the vehicle at about 80 decibels; just below the damage threshold. This sudden noise triggers the inner ear to activate and essentially close up. Then, when the much louder crash happens, your ears have closed off to the majority of the harsh sound.
Solid rubber tires have been around for a long time, and they’re generally used on equipment that doesn’t reach highway speeds. Many years ago, run-flat tires were introduced and you could continue to drive safely after a puncture flat. But now GM and Michelin are working on a tire uses no air.
Instead of being filled with air to give the tire support, these tires are supported by rubber spokes. The spokes maintain the rigidity needed to run, but also provide cushion. They are supposed to have a longer life, and they eliminate the risk of blowouts and flats. They’d be great for your spare tire until the price came down enough to be affordable as a complete set.
Now we get to the internet of things. IoT is going to be implemented in everything that we do soon, and it will help make our lives much easier. We can see the beginning forms in things like thermostats that learn our schedule, and houses that know which lights to turn on and where. Communicating cars will be similar.
Your vehicle will be able to talk to others on the road. If there’s an accident ahead, you get an alert. If a vehicle is stopped around a blind corner, yours starts to slow down. If you don’t have enough space to pass, you will be steered to safety. Blind spots will be a thing of the past, and accident numbers will be reduced.
There is a lot of regulation around vehicle-to-vehicle communication and it will be a while before it’s widely implemented. Here’s a 3 minute video on what it’s all about.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Vehicles
As safety technology continues to improve, we hope to see fewer and fewer cars in our shop! While that’s ideal, it will still be decades before the majority of vehicles have this technology. That means people will still need the best auto body repair shop in Billings to get their vehicle restored to full factory safety standards.
Need to make an appointment? Reach us easily at 406-259-6328.