Will Car Safety Features Eliminate the Need for Drivers?

Written by on November 29, 2012 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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What do you want from your car; improved safety, snazzier technology, more of those nifty buttons? If you’re half-way sensible, improved safety will feature on your list. And improved safety is what you’ll get, if Toyota has its way.

Welcome to the age of inanimate communication

We’re getting used to our devices talking to each; our phones communicate via Bluetooth and we can sync all manner of devices. Now it seems that our cars will soon be talking to each other – as well as talking to the roads (timeslive.co.za).

Toyota has successfully tested new safety features that use sensors and transmitters that will alert drivers to red traffic lights, cars in their blind spots, cars approaching intersections and pedestrians in the road. Most of this information will be relayed via transmitters and sensors in the road, but other cars that have the technology will also be able to convey information that will prevent accidents and improve driver safety.


The concept is genius: who doesn’t want to avoid collisions and traffic fines and protect their insurance premiums?

However, the fact that the system requires sensors on the road doesn’t make it immediately practical, or cheap. The fact that it also only works with other cars that have the sensors means that its application will be somewhat limited. One doesn’t really expect to see Nissan installing Toyota technology now, does one?

Speaking of Nissan

Stephanie Mlot (pcmag.com) reports that Nissan is also working hard to improve road safety by developing sophisticated in-car safety systems. One of the company’s recent developments uses advanced electronic connections between the steering wheel and tyres to speed up response times.

It’s called Independent Control Steering and, in addition to improving response times, it also eliminates the shakes on rough roads and takes the rocking out of windy conditions, which will be incredibly helpful on narrow, winding mountain passes.

But that’s not all.

Nissan has also come up with a stability system designed to trace the line of the road so that drivers don’t have to swerve to stay on track.

The nice thing about Nissan’s technology is that it doesn’t need additional systems installed on other cars or on the road to make it work. This means that we’ll see them come off the production line as soon as 2013.

Ford refuses to be left behind

The Guardian reports that the Ford European Research and Advanced Engineering Centre is also working on safety systems that include communication between cars and the road and improved driver assistance features.

There is no doubt about it, in-car safety systems are getting more refined and with Google putting more work into its driverless car, it seems as though getting your driver’s licence could soon be a redundant rite of passage.

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This is a guest post written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Skilled Migrant Jobs, which advertises a range of professional and technical jobs for immigrants in Australia, including jobs in the automotive industry.

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