If we look back over the history of the automobile, we can see that the greatest technological advances in four-wheel safety have taken place over the last 30 years. Although the overall level of driver and passenger safety is good, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do more to protect other road users. Find out what safety systems will be in the cars of the future!
Not many people realize that today’s safety systems are not as obvious additions as they seem. Seat belts, mirrors and even head restraints have made their way into mass-produced cars after strenuous negotiations and testing, yet they have saved many lives
The three-point seat belt system, for example, only appeared in 1958, thanks to Nils Bohlin, an engineer working for Volvo. These belts did not become standard on the market until the next few decades. Further, the first head restraints appeared as an optional accessory in 1959. As with belts, automakers took time to get used to the new safety standard.
Airbags first appeared in larger and larger Cadillacs, Buicks, and Oldsmobiles in 1974, and five years later the first crash tests began on a mass scale, with the results of the experiments being made available to prospective buyers
It is worth mentioning that the use of seat belts was not regulated until the late 1990s! Today, even the simplest elements improving our safety behind the wheel are taken for granted, because we do not realize the real consequences of the lack of these safety systems. Before they became a standard on a global scale, a whole crowd of people lost their lives and health
The topic of the past is behind us, so it is time to move on to the main point – the safety systems of the future. In this matter, a huge impact on automotive manufacturers has had the regulations of the European Union. More and more new legislation forces the motogigants to add new, mandatory elements to the equipment of produced cars
Some of the proposed and/or mandatory safety features are:
- driver drowsiness and distraction warning, intelligent speed adjustment, reversing safety using a camera and/or sensors, and an accident data recorder that would act as a black box,
- lane-keeping, an advanced emergency braking system, and seat belts improved by crash testing,
- specific requirements to improve the direct visibility of bus and truck drivers and remove blind spots, and systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn vulnerable road users of accidents, especially when cornering.
According to European Commission estimates – the new regulations will help save over 25,000 lives by 2038!
Futuristic safety systems
To improve the safety of road users is to significantly contribute the autonomization of road vehicles, which is to exclude the factor of human imperfection. Similar systems are already in cars offered by the American Tesla. What’s next?
The system responsible for correcting the position of the car in a given lane works on the basis of the front camera, which recognizes undesirable behavior of the driver. The warning sign consists of vibrations in the steering wheel
The previously mentioned driver fatigue monitoring system analyzes how the driver maintains direction and the smoothness of steering wheel movements. What’s more, additional sensors also record the driver’s behavior – eye blinking, head movements, and the way he or she holds the steering wheel
Emergency braking system
This is by far one of the most complex systems, but it is being successfully implemented in new cars. The computer analyzes the traffic situation in real time and, if necessary, adjusts the speed or reduces it completely. The operation of the system is based on the cooperation of ESP with a radar sensor and a camera watching the road in front of the car.