What’s Coming Next In Car Safety? 5 Areas To Keep An Eye On
- Author Alexander Belsey
- Published July 11, 2021
- Word count 743
Recent times have marked a global shift in many practices, industries, and ways of operating. This is perhaps especially true of transport — which has seen major changes due to national lockdowns, a reduction in commuters, working from home, and other restrictions.
But several new areas — especially regarding safety — are now emerging. Read on to discover five of the key ways that driving and transport may change, becoming safer and adapting to the ‘new normal’.
Number 1: ‘Safe Exit Assist’ Technology
The first impending change in car safety is the release of ‘safe exit assist’ technology. This can include cameras, sensors, and other details that are designed to increase the safety of leaving the vehicle.
Opening a car door can be hazardous for the person leaving the vehicle — such as if a motorbike rider, other drivers, or a cyclist passes and injures either themselves or others. This is an especially common problem when parking is close to a cycle track, or in particularly congested urban areas.
The technology is designed to make exiting a car safer not only for those leaving the car, but also for anyone in the vicinity. More manufacturers are exploring incorporating this technology into new vehicles in the hope of reducing a serious current safety issue.
Number 2: Increased Cleanliness & Hygiene
Many drivers, whether they use their car for work or personal use, are investing in ways to keep their car clean and hygienic in light of the global pandemic.
This may mean carrying masks, sanitary gloves, cleaning solutions, antibacterial wipes, and more — but it could also develop into more permanent solutions such as creating an inbuilt area of the car designed for carrying such materials.
There may also be more sophisticated ventilation and onboard sanitation systems developed, as well as more widely practised cleaning routines. In many cases, these are already a requirement of employers who use professional drivers.
Increased cleanliness and hygiene is expected to become more widely implemented, and may even start to impact on the manufacture of the car itself.
Number 3: A Growth In Professional Drivers
An under-discussed safety issue has been the rise of professional drivers on the road, while other regular drivers - such as commuters or parents doing the school run - may have been confined to the home.
While professional drivers may even be safer than regular drivers, as they may have undergone specific training, their increase may increase congestion on the roads.
Many people have become aware of the reasons to use couriers or special delivery services — whether for personal or professional use — and this has changed both the number and type of drivers on the road.
This is expected to impact road safety going forward, and it remains to be seen whether roads will become less crowded during the return to 'normal', or more congested due to the continued use of professional drivers and delivery vehicles.
Number 4: Augmented Reality
While not yet widely implemented, it is expected that new technologies such as augmented reality and thermal imaging will soon become significant in-car safety tools.
Augmented reality may be used to project images into a driver’s field of vision, highlighting real-life hazards such as pedestrians waiting to cross, dangerous vehicles, or a sudden upcoming bend in the road.
Thermal imaging is also being used in the manufacture of new cars to reduce the dangers of driving in low visibility.
While these newer technologies may still be in the testing phase — or only available in newer, high-end cars — it is expected that they will gradually become cheaper and more widely available over time.
Number 5: Driver Monitoring
The use of driver monitoring systems and software is expected to have a huge impact on the future of car safety. Driver monitoring systems may include cameras, software, or augmentations to cruise control systems, braking and speed, for example.
The new technologies will be able to tell if a driver has become unresponsive, such as during a medical emergency. They will also be able to sense whether the driver is not paying attention to the road, or is perhaps intoxicated.
The more sophisticated systems will then also be able to initiate a safety response, such as slowing down, steering to a safe stopping place, or calling for help.
Whether through technology and new manufacturing practices, driver choices, or widespread changes in general driving and transport, there is expected to be a global effort to make our roads and cars safer than ever before in the coming years!
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