If you’re nervous about hopping into a self-driving car you’re hardly alone. A recent survey found that only 21 percent of respondents would be willing to ride in a vehicle with technology at the wheel. Feeling anxious about putting your life in the hands of something new and still unproven is totally understandable. But that doesn’t mean self-driving technology can’t improve the roadway experience for everyone.
Many of the cars and crossovers sold over the last five years have features that control the vehicle autonomously. The person behind the wheel still has control the vast majority of the time. Technology on takes over when it’s advantageous for drivers, passengers, and everyone around them. Upgrades like these strike a balance between drivers and technology, making city streets and highways safer for all.
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, look for one with the best of today’s safety features. Driving something smart and safe is easy as long as you have access to multiple financing options, including online auto loans.
These features in particular do a lot to reduce the everyday dangers of driving:
Automatic Emergency Braking
Everyone takes their eyes of the road for a few seconds. If the traffic in front of you has slowed down, you may be too distracted to stop in time. Automatic emergency braking uses sensors to monitor the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of it. If you begin closing the distance quickly without engaging the brake pedal, this feature does it automatically. Ideally, your vehicle comes to a full stop. Or, if there is a collision, it will be at a much lower speed. Rear-end accidents are common, but this technology will prevent a lot of them.
Lane Departure Warning
When your attention begins to wander it’s easy to drift out of your own lane of traffic into an adjacent one. This happens a lot, and it’s entirely accidental, but it can lead to major accidents. Lane departure warning uses sensors on the sides of the vehicle that can track the lane lines. If the vehicle’s path begins to drift, a visual warning activates and an audio alarm sounds. In some cars, if the drift continues the course of the vehicle is automatically corrected. Technology only kicks in when the vehicle is in distinct danger.
Blind Spot Detection
They call it a blind spot for a reason – because it’s hard to see. Helping drivers feel confident about changing lanes is a problem the automotive industry has finally fixed. Blind spot detection monitors if a vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot. If one is, an indicator appears on the side mirror or the dashboard. In some vehicles, if the driver activates the turn signal when someone is in the blind spot an alarm sound. One of the biggest hazards of driving has been solved by a relatively simple technology.
Some drivers will hate this, but more will probably like it. Parallel parking and squeezing into a tiny parking space is one of the great frustrations of driving. Computers can calculate the angles and measurements better than any human eye, then take control of the vehicle. The driver simply operates the pedals as the vehicles slides smoothly into a parking space with equal room on all sides. Like the best of today’s self-driving controls, it only takes control when you want or need it to.
We are still a long way from a world filled with self-driving cars. Until we get there, expect conventional cars to have a lot more automated features. They don’t rob the driving experience of the freedom and thrills. Instead, they take away the danger and frustration. Who couldn’t get on board with that?