Technology is advancing at breakneck speeds as companies specializing in it try and outdo one another. Car companies are also partaking in this battle of one-ups by incorporating some of the newest tech in vehicle lines.
Some technology in vehicles means to keep people safe, but is this the case? Smart cars do not always equal safer ones. Find out why technology does not always keep drivers and their passengers safer.
A feature that carmakers have incorporated in many designs is automatic braking. This function kicks in should it sense a driver is too close to a vehicle in front, or a rear camera detects an obstacle while backing. When this happens, the car automatically engages the brakes. While this engagement may prevent a crash, it may also cause one. Taking control away from a driver for braking may stop him or her from shifting lanes to avoid a collision. The most dangerous aspect of this tech is driver disengagement. If people believe that the brakes will take over for them, they may take their eyes off the road.
Touchscreens are becoming commonplace everywhere, including the family car. Radio knobs have become obsolete replaced by a touchscreen infotainment center in vehicles. While car companies aim to keep people safer by making screens bigger and easier to access, it may prove the opposite. Drivers may take their eyes off the road longer to read an incoming text, search for a song or review a GPS route. This type of technology may contribute to driver distraction and accidents.
Most smart technology solves internal safety issues for drivers. However, making things easier should not result in drivers becoming lazy behind the wheel.