At AAMCO we believe in regular maintenance and solid repairs to make sure our cars are running safely and smoothly. These automobile safety innovations for 2016 got our attention and we wanted to share them with you.
Top 5 Safest Cars for 2016
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety keeps lists of all kinds of car related facts and figures, based on extensive testing and analysis. According to them, the safest cars for 2016 are:
- Toyota Avalon
- Toyota RAV4
- Nissan Maxima
- Volkswagen Passat
- Chrysler 200
These cars all have some things in common – innovative safety features. Some car safety innovations that have seen advances or implementation in 2016 are pretty amazing, and there are some still in development. Here are a few that caught our attention.
This feature aids in collision avoidance, and can be particularly useful in cars that offer swift acceleration and agile handling. As cars become faster and more responsive, humans do not – hence the need for technology to bridge the gap for us. Collision detection does just that. It monitors and reacts to the available data in a situation and applies a measured solution in a fraction of the time it would take a person – and a person might not even realize anything is wrong, being distracted in some way (texting, looking at radio, etc.). Honda developed a system that uses grille-housed radar sensors to monitor the speed and distance of traffic ahead of the vehicle. When the system detects the risk of a crash, it flashes a warning light, tugs the driver’s seat belt, and initiates automatic breaking to avoid or lessen the impact of a collision.
Audi’s lane departure warning system gives visual and auditory alerts if the vehicle begins to drift from its intended lane. Unlike similar systems, Audi’s system will not intervene in actual driving. Instead, it will send vibrations to the steering wheel to alert the driver of an unexpected change in the vehicle’s path. This system is especially effective in mitigating the risks of driver drowsiness. [5 cool safety innovations coming to your future car – Consumer Reports. (2016). Consumerreports.org. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/5-cool-car-safety-innovations-ces-2014/index.htm]
Drowsiness is a major concern in the long-haul trucking industry, as well as other professions that involve driving at odd hours or for prolonged periods of time. A possible drawback to a system like this could be that the system responds to situations that are not actual drift or are actually intentional. Hence the system’s design to not interfere with driving, but simply serve as to detect and alert.
Along with collision detection there are systems that specialize in detecting pedestrians. This kind of system comes in handy, particularly when in city environments. Sensors in the front of the car scan for obstacles ahead of the car, or in the car’s path, and determine if they are potentially pedestrian in nature by their movement. The system then activates automatic braking.
When tires wear out and/or are underinflated, they can cause the car to wander, swerve, or drift. If a tire blows out, especially at high speed, it can cause dangerous situations and accidents. Some cars come with tire-pressure sensors mounted on the wheels that can provide mileage information, pressure, and notify the driver when a tire’s pressure is low or the tire needs to be checked. Some systems can also sound a warning when the tires’ load limit has been reached or exceeded.
Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication has yet to see integration into today’s cars, but it has been on the drawing boards of companies and in testing for a few years. This innovation lets cars broadcast their position, and critical data such as speed, steering position, and brake status to other vehicles within a few hundred yards. Other cars can use that information to know what’s happening around them and adjust for any possible danger. Even the most careful and alert driver will miss what these systems can monitor, as they process all the broadcast information 10 or more times per second to keep an ongoing awareness of conditions and potential collisions. The sensors in these systems have a longer range than the ones used in shorter distance detection systems, such as for pedestrian detection, which means the cars can be aware of each other around corners, blind curves, or even through walls. It is also thought that networking cars wirelessly is likely to have a single greater effect on road safety than many of the current automated systems combined.
All in all, numerous safety features have been developed and delivered to the consumer automobile market, and more are in development. But until cars are completely autonomous and the human factor is still in the mix, drivers still must be vigilant not only in their driving, but in the condition of their cars. Bring your car to AAMCO for a complete diagnostic to make sure it’s running safely and smoothly, today and tomorrow. If you have questions about your car’s scheduled maintenance or any other car care and repair topics, AAMCO Minnesota can help.