Self-Driving Cars and Other New Car Technology


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Have you considered a self-driving car? If you are old enough to remember “The Jetsons”, you likely never thought you would see a self-driving car in your lifetime. But, they’re here. It’s possible that 20 years from now, we’ll all be riding in them, but for now, just a few people are trying out the new car technology.

Is a self-driving car perfect, though? Is it safer than a human-driven vehicle? Are there fewer accidents? All of these questions remain to be seen. Researchers have suggested that if everyone had a self-driving car, it would eliminate 90% of auto accidents in the U.S., which would save thousands of lives each year. But, car technology does not always make us safer. For one thing, driverless cars are managed by computers. Any computer could be hacked, which means that it could be driven by an outside source, and the driver might not be able to retain control.

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If you still feel unsure about whether you’d be comfortable in a self-driving car, don’t worry—although the technology exists, we’re still a long way from these being commonplace on the roads. Don’t give up your driver’s license just yet! Humans will continue to drive cars for many more years.

That’s why new car technology continues to evolve. Because humans are imperfect, car manufacturers are still working to make the “traditional” cars safer for both motorists and pedestrians. So, other new car technology is on the horizon, such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alerts and night vision for pedestrian detection. But, we don’t know yet exactly how all of these new features will make us safer… or if these features will make us safer. Only time will tell. Until we’re ready for all vehicles to be driverless cars, though, we will likely embrace some significant changes in new car technology.

By 2018, there will be backup cameras in every new car sold.

  • 8.4% of new cars on the road last year came with new lane-departure technology.
  • 1.4% of new cars had adaptive cruise control, which means that the car would be able to automatically adjust its speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Over ten percent of new cars on the road last year had blind-spot alert technology. In a car equipped with this feature, there are cameras or radar that detect when other vehicles are nearby. If the driver activates the turn signal when another car is in his or her blind spot, the car will either use an audible alert or there could be a steering wheel vibration to alert the driver of the other vehicle’s proximity.

Here’s a peek at some of the new car technologies that you will likely see in the near future:

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It might seem like a lot of these technologies are “frills” – certainly, we could all survive without in-car wifi. But, the goal of the manufacturers of these cars is to keep the roads safer, and who can argue with that? The facts speak for themselves:

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If even a few of the technologies that are starting to appear in new cars can help keep us safer, they are worth it.

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