Extra protection: Pedestrians are displayed on a video screen in the dashboard from a backup camera on a Toyota Prius. In the US, all vehicles under 10,000 pounds manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, will have to have backup cameras to reduce the number of backup-related accidents. *AFP photo
Extra protection: Pedestrians are displayed on a video screen in the dashboard from a backup camera on a Toyota Prius. In the US, all vehicles under 10,000 pounds manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, will have to have backup cameras to reduce the number of backup-related accidents. *AFP photo

Car companies are always looking for the next big thing — state-of-the-art technology that will make you want to buy their product. 

Years ago, power windows were considered modern and CD players could only be found in expensive cars. Nowadays, both of those features are standard. 

Companies such BMW and Ford are making major waves in the automobile industry by developing and testing new technology. Here are a few of the ideas. 

Data Collection Technology

One luxury car company is developing a system that will record your schedule, your likes and even your moods, that will adjust the car to your personal preferences. 

The technology promises to be smart enough to know what temperature you prefer in the car and will set it. 

It will also know which way you prefer to get to work and bring up that route for you automatically on your GPS. If there’s an accident, it will alert you and suggest an alternative route. 

The best part, perhaps, is that the car will play kiddy tunes when you pick up the kids and a reggae station when it’s just you in the car, based on your musical preferences.

There are also sensors that are connected to the wheels and engine to detect what a car is doing. The information is stored in a data recorder and can be used in the event of a crash.

Vehicle to vehicle

Another innovation is Vehicle to Vehicle technology, or V2V, which allows cars to communicate with each other in order to prevent accidents. 

V2V technology will enable your car to know that another car is about to run a red light, thus applying your brakes so that you don’t get into an accident.

The US Department of Transportation has approved V2V and says it will help to increase safety and reduce accidents. In terms of safety, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said V2V technology could do for motorists in the coming years what seatbelts did in the 1960s and airbags did a generation ago. 

 This device is currently in 3,000 vehicles in Michigan as part of a pilot programme.

V2V in particular could be helpful in Bermuda, especially with our high rate of accidents. According to the Bermuda Police Service, 1,507 accidents involving cars were reported in 2012. But, if this V2V were put into cars driven on the island, that number could be much lower. 

Monitoring Systems

Researchers, app developers and car companies are also developing technology to monitor you, the driver.

One leading car brand is experimenting with technology that detects drunk driving. A sensor in the transmission shift knob can measure the level of alcohol in the driver’s sweat. 

Meanwhile, the car’s navigation system will sound an alarm if it detects erratic driving, including weaving into another lane. 

However, it’s unclear at this time if the car will prevent the driver from driving if too much alcohol is detected, as the project is in the early stages. 

Another luxury car company is testing technology that uses cameras to monitor the driver. If you look away from the road for too long, the car senses if another vehicle is coming and will sound an alarm, even slowing the car down to prevent a collision. 

Again, it is unclear exactly how this technology will work as it is also in the early stages. But, it’s interesting to know what the future may hold.

While some of this technology seems advanced, some of it is already being tested in the U.S. and may not be that far from reality. 

Krishna King is the after parts sales manager for Bermuda Motors. For more information on automobile maintenance, you may contact Mr King at Bermuda Motors: 292-0893 or KKing@bermudamotors.bm. Website: www.bermudamotors.bm