These days it seems as though every industry and education sector is hard at work in developing “smart” technology. Most would likely classify smart tech as that which makes using a product or device easier. Yet could the ultimate goal of such advances be something altogether different, like making products safer? At least in the auto industry, that appears to be the driving force in the development of smart vehicles.
Not long ago, the prevailing thought regarding the smart car of the future would be one that drives itself. However, completely taking control of a vehicle away from the driver seems to offer, at least at the moment, greater potential for increased business for the nation’s many auto accident lawyers than it does for making highways and roadways safer. Instead, recent technological developments in the auto industry have been geared more towards assisting you while driving.
Consider one of the first features to be included in a recent wave of new vehicle technology: the rearview camera. Sure, its stated purpose was to make it easier for you to back out of your garage or into a parking space, yet it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that its introduction happened to coincide with a marked increase in the national awareness of backover accidents. Now, federal legislation has mandated that this technology be incorporated into all vehicles coming out of vehicle manufacturing plants.
Today, the direction of automotive upgrades seems to be steering towards automated safety controls. On-board sensors assist forward collision warning and automatic braking systems to detect when collisions may be eminent and even stop a vehicle if necessary. Camera systems now go beyond simply looking behind you and are used to determine your relative position on the road to warn you if you start to drift out of your lane.
While driverless cars may be where the auto industry would like to end up someday, it’s evident that it still has a long way to go to get there. Until then, advances in GPS and telecommunications technology will likely be incorporated in new vehicles to assist you and other drivers to help better share the road.