A Smarter Car
Who hasn’t dreamed of being able to eat breakfast and answer emails while driving? The driverless cars of the future promise to make such things possible, but while we wait, automotive manufacturers have been integrating more and more driver assistance technology into their vehicles. Sensors placed all over your vehicle send all sorts of information to the car’s central computer. They’re making the roads safer for you . . . and all of us!
Here are a few examples:
Lane departure warning system
Sensors located around your vehicle detect the lines on the road. If you change lanes without activating the turn signal, an alert warns you of the lane change.
- Useful in case of absent-mindedness
- Excellent for night driving
- Ineffective if there is snow on the road or if the lines are too faded
A sensor assesses the driving speed and the distance between your car and the car in front of you. If the system considers you to be too close, it will issue an alert or, in some cases, brake and regulate your speed for you.
- It is possible to adjust the reasonable distance between your car and the car in front of you
- Sometimes the system is too sensitive and may be activated if there is a truck in the lane beside you
Automatic parallel parking
Some manufacturers, such as Ford, have adopted the automatic parking system. This increasingly popular system is quite simple: your car senses the free space between two cars and, when you put it in reverse, it backs up by itself, without you having to touch the steering wheel or the pedals!
- Practical for drivers who have trouble parallel parking
- The parking space has to be quite large
Need a coffee break?
A few manufacturers have adopted this new innovation, but it’s becoming more and more common: a cup of coffee that lights up on the dashboard to remind you that you deserve a break! The system senses when your driving starts to become less accurate, when you’ve been driving for too long, and when you start showing signs of fatigue. However, the vehicle doesn’t automatically guide you to the next rest stop!
- A good reminder that it’s important to take breaks during long trips!
- Every driver has a different level of tolerance for fatigue