Are Automatic Car Technologies Really Safe for the Road?

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Car crashes are caused by distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, among other things. So given our tendency to contribute to the high number of car crashes every year, maintaining safety is part of designing innovative vehicles with great features such as automatic speed reduction, or automatic braking. However, not all technologies are efficient at all times. As excited as we may be about these cool new advances, it’s important to know how safe it is to use most automated car technologies on the road.

Types of Automated Technologies in Modern Cars

A collision avoidance system uses technology that detects collisions before they occur and warns the driver. The car has sensors that detect approaching objects, such as other cars or pedestrians. The driver immediately receives warning alerts through beeps or flashes on the screen.

 

Automatic steering is part of an advanced cruise control system that allows the car to drive itself. Without the driver’s input, the car automatically adjusts the speed and steering controls. This is useful when drivers fall asleep on the road or drive in conditions, such as rain or night, where they cannot see properly. The car has sensors that humans do not have, so the safety of driving is increased.

 

A GPS navigation system helps drivers to navigate their trips to any location. The automated system tells drivers about the approaching roads or highway exits that they should take. When drivers know where they are going, they spend less time on the road and reduce their chances of getting into accidents.

 

All types of accidents and injuries can be avoided with these technologies in place. Cruise control reduces the car’s speed, which reduces the risks of fender benders and head-on collisions. A collision avoidance system detects objects on all sides of the vehicle, so drivers avoid crashes that involve blind spots.

Common Problems With Technology

There are technical problems that occur with most technologies. Autonomous cars rely on power from the electrical system to work. If the power goes out, the technologies malfunction or stops working altogether. Some cars give out the wrong warning alerts, while other systems freeze in place or work more slowly. Drivers will not be safe on the road if the safety systems break down. Many technical problems occur as a result of normal wear and tear. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the car running correctly.

 

There are plans in the works for entirely self-driving cars, without even the intervention of drivers needed, but even those could be subjected to hackers, once they hit the roads. The recent Tesla crash also definitely put some more scrutiny on the development of these technologies, since the collision occurred while the car was on autopilot and could not discern a white trailer from the bright sky.

 

So, there are some considerations that need to be taken for drivers to truly feel safe with the many automatic features out there, and the ones to come. For the most part though, with significant oversight and care, cars can be far safer, with the inclusion of automated driving features.

 

References:

Consumer Reports

Colley Firm P.C

Planetizen

Scientific American

Tech News Gadgets

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