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How Safe Is Your Car? Tech to Take You From Average to Exemplary

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How Safe Is Your Car? Tech to Take You From Average to Exemplary

The rise of smart technology has transformed the way we live.

Whether it’s in the home or in our devices, consumers have a dizzying number of ways to make life easier with a tap of a button. In the same way, smart technology can work wonders in taking you from being an average driver to an exemplary one.

Vehicle manufacturers have come up with some clever smart innovations that help make driving a safer, easier and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Gone are the days when a car’s sole purpose was to move people and stuff from A to B. Vehicle manufacturers have come up with some clever smart innovations that help make driving a safer, easier and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

In the coming decade, it’s possible that your car will become just another smart device that effortlessly navigates the streets safely and efficiently, while offering a superior driving experience.

Here’s a quick introduction to some of the latest technologies that can shift your day-to-day commute into a higher gear.

Enjoy the ride!

1. Automatic Parking Technology

Do you find yourself circling the block multiple times in order to avoid the challenge of squeezing into a parallel parking spot? Reverse and parallel parking can be a huge ordeal, even for experienced drivers.

Automatic parking assist (otherwise known as auto parking, park assist or intelligent parking) is now fitted as a standard option for a growing number of new cars in Australia.

These vehicles have a series of sensors which can measure the dimensions of a parking space on your behalf, taking the guesswork out of the parking challenge.

Once you’ve found a suitable parking spot, instead of trying to manoeuvre your way back and forth into a parking space, with the press of a button the car can effortlessly steer itself into that coveted parking spot. All you need to control is the accelerator and brake.

No dents or nasty surprises to deal with.

Urban traffic

2. Lane Departure Technology

“Unintentional lane drift is a huge issue,” explains Neil Chambers, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association. “It causes 14 percent of all fatal crashes and 5,031 non-fatal injuries in Australia.”

Lane departure assist technology uses a few simple cameras and sensors to potentially save you from a crash. The system, installed on many modern cars, uses front-facing cameras to scan the road surface markings ahead.

If your vehicle is about to drift across lane markings and the left or right indicator lights aren’t on, the system will sound an alert and automatically correct the steering to keep you in the lane.

More sophisticated crash-avoidance technology is expected in the near future, once new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems are set up where cars can exchange basic speed, position and safety data with each other.

3. LED Headlight Technology

There’s certainly more to headlights than just being the culprit of your last flat battery. They’re indispensable for driving at night, and many a backcountry road would be impossible to navigate without the trusty beams illuminating the road ahead.

Vehicle manufacturers have started moving towards high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamp technology, which gives off brighter light than a traditional halogen bulb.

The technology for headlights has been pretty static for many years, with halogen lamps the standard option. While halogens are cheap to produce and replace, they’re not very energy efficient and draw a fair amount of energy from your car’s battery.

Vehicle manufacturers have started moving towards high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamp technology, which gives off brighter light than a traditional halogen bulb.

But the next step — LED headlight technology — promises to improve efficiency and driving experience by offering smarter beam patterns for different road conditions. LED headlights require far less power to produce a light beam that can be controlled far more effectively than HID or halogen systems.

For example, some LED headlights can be directed away from oncoming vehicles without reducing the overall brightness on your side of the road. This means you could drive with full beam on the whole way, and other drivers won’t be blinded for it.

4. Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) Technology

Gone are the days when a vehicle purchase was a choice between either manual or automatic transmission. Car manufacturers now offer a dizzying array of gearbox types: single-clutch, dual-clutch, tiptronic and more.

Card 10a

Of the many developments in automatic gearboxes over the years, the continuous variable transmission (CVT) offers the most potential for improving your driving efficiency. Instead of swapping through five or six pre-set gears, a CVT can move between an almost infinite number of drive ratios. This means a CVT engine can keep spinning at peak efficiency, regardless of how fast your vehicle is going.

A CVT can move between an almost infinite number of drive ratios.

Not only is there no need to worry about changing gears and pressing the clutch at the right time, but your engine is always running at the best fuel economy.

5. Smart Car Gadget Technology

If asked, most of us would say that we’re pretty good behind the wheel. But we’re still prone to falling into bad driving habits, like braking too suddenly or over-revving the engine.

Not only can this kind of driving be risky, it means you miss hitting your engine speed’s sweet spot, where your car runs best and is most fuel efficient. According to a report by the AA Research Foundation in New Zealand, the potential benefits of driving efficiently (or “eco-driving”) include “reduced car running costs, reduced driver and passenger stress, and improved traffic flow.”

Card 10b

Smart car gadgets are the latest way to help drivers to drive more efficiently. These gadgets plug into your car’s standard diagnostics port (usually found under your steering wheel), and send information to your smartphone or another device mounted on your dashboard.

Smart car gadgets are the latest way to help drivers to drive more efficiently.

Once on the road, your gadget will measure things like how much fuel your vehicle uses per trip, how much blasting the air-con costs in petrol, and other real-time feedback to improve your driving habits and overall car health.

Australian company GoFar has developed and fine-tuned an eco-driving system that’s been shown in trials to reduce fuel consumption by up to 22 percent.

 

Sources
http://www.motoring.com.au/advice/2011/medium-passenger/auto-parking—-coming-to-a-car-near-you-26848
http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/1403/freestone%E2%80%99s-in-lane-departure-technology-push
http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/safety_technology/safety_technology/technology_file/active/lka.html
http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2014/USDOT+to+Move+Forward+with+Vehicle-to-Vehicle+Communication+Technology+for+Light+Vehicles
http://360.here.com/2015/09/02/bright-new-ideas-to-improve-your-night-driving/