Precision High-Beam Monitoring
How many times have you raged at a late night driver who wouldn’t turn their brights off and stop blinding you? It was a common enough complaint that in the re-imagining of the Lexus RX, engineers added an Adaptive High-beam Assist feature. It goes one step further than typical motion sensor aids, dimming high beams if a rear-view mounted camera detects other cars approaching. This tech doesn’t just switch from bright light to night light, either- it slowly dims the lights in response to the distance of the other car, preventing any sudden changes in your line of vision or ability to see.
Asleep At The Wheel? Not Any More
We’ve all heard about and seen the dangers of driving while exhausted. It can be as disabling as being drunk, and can cause serious and often fatal accidents. While many technologies have been experimented with in an attempt to prevent this phenomenon, German auto maker Volkswagen grows ever closer to hitting the mark. Currently in development are camera systems that would allow a vehicle to read markings on the road. If the cameras sensed that the vehicle was behaving erratically or drifting, the vehicle’s computer system would disable external controls and right its’ own path. Though many people find the idea of a computer system that can take charge a bit disarming, this new tech has the potential to save lives.
Take Safety Outside The Car
Many new tech innovations for cars are designed to protect the driver and their passengers, but some are intended to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety as well. A good example of this is the pedestrian detection technology developed by Volvo in 2014. This tech elevates object identification to the point of recognizing a human and differentiating between it and an object. Population-dense urban areas have many walkers and bikers who just want to get where they’re going safely and plenty of drivers who want the same thing, so anything that can help prevent these dangerous accidents is sure to eventually become a widely offered feature.
A Parent’s Best Friend
If you have kids, pets or both, you’re familiar with a backseat filled with dog fur, discarded cheerios, stickers and unidentifiable fossils that have long since been discarded by their original recipient. Thanks to the new integrated vacuum system featured in new Honda Odyssey models, cleaning out the car can be a regular convenience instead of a dreaded monthly event conducted when you can no longer fit your kid, dog or stuff into the backseat of your car. The popular family car and van manufacturer paired with Shop-Vac to add this intelligent feature which is sure to garner rave reviews.
Be Your Own Hot Spot
If you’re on the go and you do real business on the Internet, you know the struggle of finding free WiFi. Could you use your mobile plan to download those files? Sure, if you want to deal with massive data overage charges. Wi-Fi is an essential part of Internet based business, and there are times when a mobile hot spot is just what the doctor ordered. Both Chrysler and Ford are taking steps to meet this need by offering installs of routers in vehicles with monthly Wi-Fi plan costs. This may seem like an indulgence, but with prices ranging under that of typical home fiber-optic Internet, the likelihood of it becoming commonplace is significant.
Flat Tire? What’s That?
Getting a flat tire or having a blowout can be an unexpected nightmare. If you don’t have a donut, a jack and/or a roadside assistance program, you can be in quite a bind. Statistically, fewer people perform routine tire pressure checks as often as they should. Tires that are slightly deflated are more likely to malfunction, causing accidents and damage. For several years now, trusted tire brand Bridgestone has been working on a non-pneumatic tire which, instead of being filled with air like a traditional tire, contains spokes made of thermoplastic resin. The tire would not deflate if punctured, and is manufactured with ecologically sound, recyclable materials. While the company has not officially released the tires onto the market, they have definite potential for personal and commercial use.