Century Park Law Group explores the lifesaving innovations coming soon to cars

The safety of car passengers and drivers was the main focus in recent years. Modern vehicles use cameras, radar and computing power to prevent accidents and other tragedies. Modern safety systems not only protect those in vehicles, but also pedestrians and cyclists. Century Park Law Group is the best source for Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers. They support these innovative and creative initiatives that increase safety through advertisements and other media. Century Park Law Group is passionate about helping others find safe and reliable cars that will still put a smile on their faces, even if they are stuck in traffic.

Blind spot warning (BSW), and automatic emergency braking (AEB), are already helping to prevent crashes. But we are only beginning to see the potential benefits of technology in making roads safer, said Jake Fisher, senior director at CR’s Auto Test Center. The next generation of safety innovations will be made possible by the introduction of more powerful processors, sensors, and other advanced technology. These will help save lives and prevent injury.

Fisher states that cars are benefiting from an explosion in computer processing power and that automakers are using this technology to make them safer and smarter. New safety features are likely to become more common on cars as new federal policies encourage automakers install them on their vehicles.

Computer Vision: See With It

What is it? Augmented reality is a combination of human and computer vision. It projects 3D holographic animations in the driver’s field to highlight pedestrians waiting to cross or warn them of a car behind.

When it comes: Some European vehicles already come with augmented reality displays. Similar features are expected to be available in the U.S. within the next few months.

What it does: This technology is currently being developed by multiple automakers and suppliers such as GM, Panasonic, and Continental. The head-up display will track drivers’ eye movements and project vital information in their line of vision regardless of where they are looking or how far away they are from the steering wheel. Continental found that automated driving and augmented reality warnings are more effective than traditional chimes or dashboard lights, according to its research.

Stop the Dooring Danger

What is it? “Dooring” refers to when a motorist parks alongside cyclists and opens a door. After colliding with the door, a doored cyclist could be hurt. They could also veer into traffic, and be hit by a vehicle. Some Audi, Mercedes-Benz cars and the upcoming Lexus NX have built-in sensors that detect vehicle or bicycle traffic from behind. The vehicle will warn you if it’s unsafe to open the doors. By locking the rear doors, some Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis vehicles prevent rear-seat occupants of the vehicle from leaving until it is safe. Parents with children will have more peace of mind knowing that their child is safe.

Who is it for? Safe Exit Assist is available on certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

What it does:Hyundai, the parent company to Genesis, and Kia’s Safety Exit Assist System use electronic child safety locks and a bumper-mounted radar to power other active safety systems. Safe Exit Assist will lock the rear doors to stop an accident if it detects approaching traffic. This system can be overridden by the driver at any time with a push of a button or deactivated entirely. Other automakers have systems that display visual warnings for the rear and front doors. Lexus says its upcoming NX SUV will also be able to detect traffic–including cyclists–approaching from the rear. It will sound an audio and visual warning if there is a danger of a collision and disable the electronic latches on the front and back doors.

Protect the ‘Invisible’ Pedestrian

What is it: Unlike vision-based cameras, which have trouble seeing in dim lighting conditions, thermal cameras can detect pedestrians in dark areas. They are even more effective than vision-based cameras at detecting them. These cameras could help reduce pedestrian deaths on U.S. streets, which have increased by 46 percent in the past decade. According to preliminary data from Governors Highway Safety Association (which represents states and territories highway safety offices in the U.S.), 6,721 pedestrians died in 2020. A typical AEB with pedestrian detection has had difficulty “seeing” in low lighting. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this is a problem as 80 percent of pedestrian deaths occur after dark.

When it comes: Thermal cameras could be on new cars as early as 2025.

What it does: An infrared heat detector can detect pedestrians in dark areas or low light situations. Chris Posch is the director of engineering for automotive at Teledyne Flir. The company makes thermal-imaging cameras. Internal testing by the company has shown that prototype thermal AEB systems are capable of detecting pedestrians 100 percent in darkness. This is in contrast to existing systems which have a harder time recognizing pedestrians in low lighting. Posch predicts automakers will use data from multiple cameras and sensors to maximize what a vehicle “sees,” which is known as sensor fusion.

Avoid Hot Cars

What is it: According to the National Safety Council, heatstroke causes 38 deaths per year in children under 15 years old. Multiple vehicle manufacturers have installed rear-seat reminders systems to prevent these deaths. These reminder systems remind drivers to inspect the back seats after every trip. Other cars have ultrasonic sensors that detect motion and sound an alarm when they see someone locked in their car. According to Hyundai, Genesis’ parent company, Genesis, Genesis was the first manufacturer to use radar motion detection. This makes the system sensitive enough that it can detect even the smallest movement of a child’s chest. It can detect pets and children in the cargo area, as well as children asleep in the backseat. Similar technology has been proposed by other manufacturers.

Who owns it: The Genesis GV70 uses radar-based motion detection. Other Hyundai, Genesis and Kia vehicles also use ultrasonic technology.

What it does: If the system detects that a passenger, pet, or other person has entered the vehicle without permission, it will send a series visual and audible warnings. You can sign up for alerts on your cell phone to notify drivers. According to the automaker, Genesis’ radar-based detector can scan the entire vehicle (including the cargo area) for movement. Radar systems are less susceptible to false activation than ultrasonic sensors that can be fooled by noise or external vibration.

Light the Way, not the Windshield

What is it: If you have ever struggled to see on dark roads or been blinded by the bright headlights of oncoming traffic, adaptive driving beam (ADB), headlights will be a great help. They are also known as smart headlights. They shine brighter than traditional high beams and increase a driver’s vision over long distances. These headlights also have technology that prevents extra glare from shining directly into the eyes of other drivers. A few systems can shine a spotlight on pedestrians and cyclists to draw their attention, or project virtual lanes on snowy roads. A AAA study in 2019 found that ADB lights provide up to 86 per cent better illumination when there is an oncoming vehicle. It also provides less glare than traditional low beams for drivers following or approaching. While smart headlights exist in other countries, the NHTSA has not approved a proposal for 2018 to allow them in the United States.

When it comes:We hope so, but the adaptive driving beam technology has not been approved for use in America yet.

What it does: Some ADB Headlights have shutters built into the headlight assembly that shade approaching cars like an umbrella. Some have multiple LEDs that turn off when a car approaches or you are following another vehicle. This prevents the light from shining directly on other drivers’ windshields and rearview mirrors. System with spotlight illumination, like Lexus’ BladeScan – use cameras to identify pedestrians, cyclists or animals and aim a beam of light at them. A few cars, including some Audis, have ADB hardware already installed in the U.S. but it’s not active. CR is told by the automaker that dealers will activate the feature after regulatory approval has been received.

Keep an eye on the driver

What is it:Automakers have been adding more advanced driver monitoring systems in order to ensure that drivers are paying attention on the road. Some can also detect whether a driver is unresponsive–because of either a medical emergency or another problem–and safely slow the vehicle and call for help.

Who is it for? GM vehicles equipped with Super Cruise can slow down to call for assistance if a driver becomes unresponsive.

What it does: Vehicles that automate steering and braking and acceleration use infrared camera to make sure that the driver’s eyes are focused on the road. Additional sensors monitor whether or not the driver is having difficulty steering or staying in one lane. These or other indicators that a driver is impaired will be detected by the car’s software. It can use its existing braking system and steering automation to safely stop and call emergency services via a paired or built-in cellular connection. GM vehicles with Super Cruise already have the ability to slow down in a traffic lane and put on hazard lights. If the driver does not respond, it will call for help. In some cases, the optional Emergency Driving Stop System of the Lexus LS500h 2022 will be able pull the car to a halt on the shoulder.

Updated 01/18/22