Tech Talk

What will they think of next?

Safety features of new vehicles

Vehicle safety has come a long way in the last few years. The installation of airbags in new cars has become a standard practice and a requirement. They are not just in the dash, a number of cars also have side-impact and curtain airbags fitted and we are now also seeing knee airbags fitted to some models. In the event of a collision, these are automatically activated to help protect you and your passengers.

Active headrests move forwards and upwards in the event of a rear-end collision to protect the head and neck. Front safety power windows activate the driver and front passenger windows if they sense an obstacle in their way when being raised, they automatically stop and wind down.

And then there’s braking – that used to be a hard push on the pedal but these days there is so much more going on including electronic stability control and traction control systems which are designed to help you maintain control in challenging driving situations. In a sudden braking situation this keeps you on track by regulating engine torque and applying brake force to each wheel to slow you down safely. If required wheel spin is reduced to give you greater control when accelerating on slippery or uneven road surfaces. If you have stopped on a hill there’s hill-start assist control that stops you from rolling backward when you have to pull away from a standstill on an incline.

We have intelligent seat belt reminders in all seating positions, open door warning, lane departure warning and forward collision alert. You can even see what’s behind you when reversing with a rear-view camera that relays images to make the reverse easier and the rear parking system feature is ideal for city driving, with a parking assist system that uses sensors to warn you if you get too close to an object when parking.

The most recent development seem to be in the form of automated, or “driver-less” onboard intelligence systems. In its basic form, there are radar guided cruise control and automated parking system. The more advanced models have automatic brake, collision avoidance system and sometimes even allows complete hand-off driving for some distance

With the ever-changing technology of today’s vehicles, drivers are getting ever more automated assistance to make their journey safer. However, we must stress a high level of concentration must still be maintained during driving. Just in case the automated system fails, it’s up to the humans behind the wheels to avoid an accident!

Similarly gone are the days of being called a mechanic or technician, we need to be “magicians”.

At Ron Hill Auto & Transmissions, our team make keep up with the latest trends in automotive evolution so we can better serve our Sunshine Coast customers.