Technologic advancements surround us everywhere we go. In 2018, Amazon Go opened its doors for the very first time, but what was its significance? In the past we had seen the creation and the implementation of self-service check-outs which reduced the need for staff behind the tills in supermarkets. However, the development wasn’t to stop there. Amazon launched the store that required no man power whatsoever. A combination of cameras and sensors meant shoppers could arrive, lift what they wanted, and leave without even having to hand over cash — the shop automatically bills their account after they vacate the premises.
The shops aren’t alone though in sharing the spoils regarding technologic innovation. Waymo, a project supported by Google, are just one of the companies investing heavily in the development of driverless cars. Although it might be a few years yet before we witness the arrival of a host of autonomous vehicles on our roads here in the UK, it must be considered that many vehicles are, in some respect, driverless at present, thanks to a variety of assistance features. Here, with Lookers, who offer Ford Servicing, we examine the rise in driver assistance technologies.
Driver drowsiness detection
Just like you should never drive when you are angry, you should never drive when you are tired, as it can prove fatal. While there has previously been campaigns to target driver fatigue, which introduced signs on motorways telling drivers not to drive tired, some cars nowadays come with driver drowsiness detection. It’s thought that falling asleep behind the wheel may be a factor in 10% of all road accidents and car companies have introduced the technology to try to eliminate this risk. The system works by recognising tell-tale signs, such as a driver’s head nodding that indicates sleepiness.
Built-in sat nav
Can you remember the last time you had to pull up on the hard shoulder and try to navigate your way to the unmarked campsite you were staying at for the weekend? While you can still buy satellite navigation systems, and devices such as mobile phones have the automatically installed, your car can now include a built-in sat nav. Simply type in your destination and away you go – no questions asked.
Invented in 1948, cruise control has long been an option, while driverless cars are drifting closer to becoming a reality. However, for now, semi-autonomous driving is a feature that is available in luxury models. For those of us who find ourselves regularly travelling, this gadget allows us to relax on the road as it helps the car maintain a constant speed while staying in lane and watching out for potential collisions. Although it shouldn’t be seen as a tool to replace driving, it’s said to reduce fatigue on those long and tedious drives.
Adaptive light control
With road fatalities triple what they are during the day, it is no wonder why so many people get nervous behind the wheel at night. While your lights can beam into the distance, sometimes this isn’t enough. That’s where adaptive light control has been brought in to be of assistance. Designed to help drivers see better in the dark and see further, this assistance enables your headlights to swivel and rotate so that the road in front of you is more illuminated, especially round corners.
Tyre pressure monitoring
By saving you money on fuel and enhancing your general driving safety this addition to any car doesn’t even need consideration. The tyre pressure monitoring systems will allow you to know when to pump your tyres up without needing to get out of your car and physically check.
Blind spot detection
For some of the sleeker car designs on the market, unfortunately this feature does come with a drawback — a larger blind spot. That’s where the blind spot detection feature is proving useful. It works by alerting you when another vehicle that is outside of your direct field of vision is approaching. It can do so in several ways, including a warning sound, a light on your side mirror, or a vibration of the steering wheel.
The parallel park can often prove to be the cruelest of mistress to even the best of drivers. Thankfully, this handy assist is perfect for avoiding unnecessary bumps. It’s common knowledge that car parks are breeding grounds for accidents. Stats found that Britain is a nation of terrible parkers, with two-thirds of drivers admitting that their vehicles have been damaged in a car park. Parking sensors can help avoid these unwanted prangs – from your end at least. With a series of beeps alerting you as you get closer to any close objects – or sometimes an illustration on a parking camera – parking sensors can make sure you avoid scrapes. This not only saves your car from depreciating rapidly in value, but also saves any unwanted insurance claims going against you.
Lane departure warnings
Cars moving in into your lane on a congested dual carriageway or motorway can be a daunting aspect to driving. However, with lane departure warning systems, you can ensure your own vehicle doesn’t drift out of your allotted lane as an alarm will sound to make sure you take corrective action and stay safely within the lines. Some lane-keeping assistance systems are also available, and these go a step further by making automatic small corrective actions without any driver input.
It surely won’t be long until we see driverless cars on our roads, but until then, the vast range of assistance features we have available to us, should be more than enough to make our journeys comfortable and limit the danger involved.