Automobile engineers are always looking for new ways to improve safety. The following are some newer safety features that are used by car manufacturers these days. E4cars also recommend our customers to verify the list of safety features in the manufactures website before buying a car.
Intelligent Speed Adaption
Intelligent speed adaption is a feature that prevents vehicles from exceeding the speed limit. It uses information from a GPS database of speed limits. We need to change the picture to make sure it doesn’t look like the source Driver State Sensor is a system that measures the head of the driver and passenger in 3D!
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required that all U.S. passenger vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less be equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system by the 2008 model year. But it's already a safety feature in most new autos.
(For example, BMW offers this as standard equipment on all of its models.) Sensors at the wheels are able to alert you if the air pressure is too low by an audible warning, a light on the instrument panel, or both. You may also see more cars with run-flat tires (the Corvette, among the current offerings), which allow a vehicle to continue to run at a relatively high rate of speed for 50-plus miles.
Adaptive cruise control/collision mitigation
Modern cruise control goes beyond just maintaining a constant speed. Thanks to sensors and the use of radar, cruise control can now adjust the throttle and brakes to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you if there are changes in traffic speed or if a slowpoke cuts in. If the system senses a potential collision, it typically will brake hard and tighten the seatbelts. Once it knows the lane is clear or traffic has sped up, it will return your car to its original cruising speed, all without your input. Of course, you may override the system by touching the brakes. The Mercedes-Benz and Maybach systems go by a less obvious name: Distronic.
Blind-spot detection/side assist/collision warning
This technology is designed to alert you to cars or objects in your blind spot during driving or parking, or both. Usually it will respond when you put on your turn signal; if it detects something in the way, it may flash a light in your mirror, cause the seat or steering wheel to vibrate, or sound an alarm. This is more of a short-range detection system.
Learn more about Blind spot and how to avoid them with our best efforts in the absence of these technologies.
Lane-departure warning/wake-you-up safety (LDWS)
This is similar to blind-spot/side-assist technology but with more range. It judges an approaching vehicle's speed and distance to warn you of potential danger if you change lanes. It can also warn if it determines your car is wandering out of the lane, which could be useful if you become distracted. This could come in the form of a vibration through the seat or steering wheel, or an alarm. Down the road expect lane-departure warning to even be able to monitor body posture, head position and eye activity to decide if the driver is falling asleep and the vehicle is behaving erratically. At that point, the system may even be capable of slowing the car down and engaging stability control. Just in case.
Most automakers offer an electronic stability control system, and some offer apreparation system (seatbelts tighten, rollbars extend). However, what we're talking about is more intelligent than that. If the system senses a potential rollover (such as if you whip around a corner too fast or swerve sharply), it will apply the brakes and modulate throttle as needed to help you maintain control. DaimlerChrysler calls it Electronic Roll Mitigation, Ford named it Roll Stability Control, and GM's is Proactive Roll Avoidance. Range Rover's is Active Roll Mitigation, while Volvo's is called Roll-Over Protection System. But they all have the same goal.
Emergency brake assist/collision mitigation
This brake technology is different from an antilock braking system or electronic brakeforce distribution, in that it recognizes when the driver makes a panic stop (a quick shift from gas to brake pedal) and will apply additional brake pressure to help shorten the stopping distance. It may also work in conjunction with the smart cruise control or stability control system in some vehicles if it senses a potential collision. It is often called brake assist, although BMW, for example, refers to it as Dynamic Brake Control.
EBD (Electronic Braking Distribution)
Braking forces to the front and rear wheels are optimized and maximum braking is ensured. When braking with more than one occupant, EBD increases the motive forces to the rear wheels more than when there is only one occupant, increasing brake effectiveness compared to non-EBD vehicles. This enhancement of anti-lock brakes (ABS) reduces brake force if grip differs at each wheel, helping to bring the car to a halt predictably and in a straight line.
Adaptive headlights and/or night-vision assist
Night vision can be executed in different forms, such as infrared headlamps or thermal-imaging cameras. But no matter the science, the goal is the same: to help you see farther down the road and to spot animals, people or trees in the path — even at nearly 1,000 feet away. An image is generated through a cockpit display, brightening the objects that are hard to see with the naked eye. Adaptive headlights follow the direction of the vehicle (bending the light as you go around corners). They may also be speed-sensitive (changing beam length or height), or compensate for ambient light.
Directional headlights allow the driver to see obstacles in a curvy road.
Rearview cameras not only protect your car, but also protect children and animals from accidental back-overs. Backing up your car has graduated from side mirrors tilting down or causing chirps and beeps to real-time viewing. New-school tech involves a camera that works with the navigation system to provide a wide-open shot of what's happening behind you to help with parking or hooking up a trailer.
There are a variety of ways vehicles now and in the future will handle an emergency situation. For example, DaimlerChrysler's Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) turns on interior lighting, unlocks doors and shuts off fuel when airbags deploy, while Volkswagen's also switches on the hazards and disconnects the battery terminal from the alternator. In addition, GM's OnStar and BMW Assist both alert their respective response centers of the accident and make crash details available to emergency personnel.
This electronic system can stop drivers from losing control of their car in sudden manoeuvres or skids, and independent studies have shown it could prevent up to a third of all road accidents. This car safety feature is commonly known as ESP, but other acronyms used by manufacturers include: ASC, DSC, DTSC, ESC, ESP+, VDC, VSA and VSC.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is able to reduce power from the engine and slow the car down in order to keep the car stable in an emergency situation.
A stable body shell and Occupant-sensitive/dual-stage airbags
A stable car body shell resists crash forces well and provides better protection for those in the cabin. Look for cars with a good ANCAP crash-test score.
Learn more about Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)
Curtain airbags are a great safety feature
All humans are not created equal, and airbags are evolving to compensate in the form of low-risk, multistage and occupant-sensitive deployment. Technology can now sense the different sizes and weights of occupants as well as seatbelt usage, abnormal seating position (such as reaching for the radio or bending to pick something off the floor), rear-facing child seats and even vehicle speed. While driver, passenger and side curtain airbags are nothing new, sensing airbags are popping up (so to speak) everywhere.
These inflate less rapidly in lower severity impacts, reducing the chance of airbag-related injuries.
Whiplash can be prevented with well-positioned headrests
Seat-mounted side airbags
These help protect the pelvis, chest and abdomen in a side-on crash. Seat-mounted side airbags are preferable to door-mounted airbags as they stay in the correct position when the seat is moved.
Side curtain airbags
These usually drop down from the roof lining above the windows to protect the heads of front and rear passengers in the event of a side-on crash.
Smart seatbelt reminder
As a nation we’re pretty good at buckling up, but not using seatbelts is still a major factor in road traffic injury statistics. The best systems (such as in the Volvo S40) don’t just remind the driver to buckle up, they sense which seats are occupied and alert the driver if any other belts haven’t been fastened.
Pre-tensioned and load-limited seatbelts
Seatbelt pre-tensioners take up any slack in the belt when they detect a crash is imminent. Load limiters, on the other hand, prevent injury by allowing the belt to stretch slightly in a crash if too high a load is placed on the seat’s occupant.
Good head restraints
Poorly-adjusted head restraints account for many whiplash injuries. Make sure that a car’s head restraints can be raised high enough to suit drivers and passengers of all heights – the top of the head restraint should sit level with the top of a person’s head for it to be effective. Also, check to make sure the car has a good Thatcham whiplash rating.
Isofix child seat mounts
Isofix is a system for fitting child seats that uses mounting points built into the car seats, rather than the adult seat belt. Three-point Isofix systems are best, as they have a ‘top tether’ as well as two lower anchorages. As long as you follow the instructions, Isofix should make fitting a child car seat easier, too. You can find a Best Buy child car seat here.
Cars with a more ‘pedestrian friendly’ front end should reduce the severity of injury if you’re unfortunate enough to hit a pedestrian – particularly at speeds of up to 30mph. Look for cars with a high Euro NCAPpedestrian safety score.
E4cars always insist our customer to make our roads safer.