New technology could thwart motor vehicle accidents

Safety features on vehicles have come a long way over the past few decades with the development of seatbelts, air bags and back-up cameras. Recent safety demonstrations by Honda suggest that the technology could improve even further in the coming years.

The technology, which is aimed at preventing vehicles from colliding with other cars, motorcycles and pedestrians, could potentially save countless lives if it goes mainstream. Essentially, Honda unveiled special computer chips that are embedded in cars, motorcycles and cellphones, and alert drivers when it appears that a collision is about to take place.

The vehicle can then be programmed to make an emergency stop if it appears that the collision is not going to be avoided by the driver.

In the case of a potential pedestrian accident, the car would be equipped with a screen that would pick up a signal from a chip placed in the cellphone carried by the pedestrian. The chip in the cellphone would communicate with the technology in the vehicle to determine the location of the pedestrian, his speed and whether he may be distracted by music or other usage.

The screen in the car would warn the driver about the pedestrian and if it appeared that a crash was imminent, the screen would tell the driver to apply the brakes. If it appeared that the driver was not going to brake in time, the car would be capable of stopping on its own, thereby avoiding a collision with the pedestrian.

This is part of a greater effort in the auto industry to produce cars capable of stopping by themselves. It would not only be effective in cases where drivers were not paying attention, but also in cases where drivers experienced medical emergencies or fell asleep behind the wheel.

It’s extremely interesting to learn about the advancements that are being made in vehicle safety. As there were 32,000 fatal car accidents in the United States in 2011 alone, it’s obvious that enhanced safety measures would be worthwhile.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Honda shows safety technology that links cars, motorcycles, pedestrians,” Alisa Priddle, Aug. 28, 2013