Most of us are familiar with certain driver-assist features, and we’ve come to rely on them when piloting our vehicles. For example, we count on our vehicle’s blind-spot warning system to let us know if it’s safe to make a lane change on the highway. And we look to our car’s reversing camera to provide us with a clear image of the territory behind the car when we’re backing up.
Technology continues its forward march, and the driver-assist features commonly seen in today’s vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg. Some exciting new systems have recently become available, and they promise to make our time behind the wheel safer and less stressful.
Below are the five hottest new driver-assist technologies you can get today, listed in alphabetical order.
BMW Remote 3D View
We’re a society that likes to have a clear view of things at all times, and technology makes that possible. We chat via FaceTime so we can lay eyes on the person at the other end of a phone call. And many home security systems use cameras that will send an image to our phones if there’s a stranger lurking near our doorway.
BMW offers a technology that allows you to never lose sight of what’s happening with your car. With BMW Remote 3D View, images of a parked vehicle’s surroundings are sent to a car owner’s smartphone. The image allows the owner to see the vehicle’s surrounding environment from various perspectives. It’s activated via the BMW Connected App, which is available for iOS and Android platforms.
This nifty feature allows car owners to check on their vehicle, even if they’re parked far away. It also allows a vehicle owner to see if the environment is safe before approaching, such as when the car is parked in a remote area. It is, however, worth noting that BMW limits owners to three viewings per hour, so use them wisely.
BMW Remote Control Parking
In certain situations, parking a vehicle can unleash a tornado of anxiety in the driver. Squeezing into a tight parking space can stir up paralyzing fears regarding dings and dents. And those who choose to avoid the spotlight can quake with apprehension if forced to park a vehicle while someone is waiting and watching.
BMW Remote Control Parking is a godsend in these situations. This technology allows the car to ease in and out of perpendicular parking spaces without the driver present at the wheel. It’s activated once the driver has left the vehicle, using BMW’s available Display Key technology.
Cadillac Super Cruise
Every year, we get closer and closer to the creation of a mainstream model that provides truly autonomous driving. Cadillac keeps the ball rolling in that direction with the introduction of its Super Cruise technology.
Cadillac Super Cruise is essentially a feature that upgrades adaptive cruise control in ways that facilitate hands-free driving. Similar technologies from other automakers require at least one of the driver’s hands to remain on the wheel. This is done to ensure that the driver’s focus remains on the road since these technologies aren’t intended to be autonomous.
With Cadillac Super Cruise, a drowsy driver monitor that uses head-tracking software is employed to make sure the person behind the wheel is looking at the road. With this safeguard in place, the system allows the driver to pilot the vehicle with no hands on the wheel.
Numerous cameras and sensors work to keep the car in its lane, and the system is designed for use solely on limited-access roadways such as interstates or freeways. Cadillac Super Cruise is a great choice for drivers seeking to take some of the effort out of daily commuting.
Ford Evasive Steering Assist
Sometimes a driver doesn’t notice a stopped or slowed car just ahead until the last moment. If there isn’t enough time to steer the vehicle out of harm’s way, tragedy can ensue.
Ford Evasive Steering Assist can provide the quick response needed in this type of situation. It uses camera and radar sensor technology to determine if the car immediately ahead has stopped or slowed down. If there’s enough distance to avert a collision via braking, this technology will deploy the brakes. If there’s not enough room to avoid impact with braking alone, Ford Evasive Steering Assist will provide steering support to help the driver maneuver around the stopped or stalled vehicle.
This is one more useful gadget in the toolbox when it comes to accident prevention.
Volkswagen Emergency Assist
A medical emergency can have tragic consequences for someone who’s behind the wheel of a car. These emergencies can include everything from a seizure attack to the sudden onset of a hypoglycemic coma. In some cases, an unexpected reaction to medication can play a role.
Volkswagen Emergency Assist is designed to provide aid in these situations. If sensors detect that the vehicle isn’t being steered, braked, or accelerated, the system will use steering jerks to try and wake the driver. If that doesn’t do the trick, Volkswagen Emergency Assist will safely stop the vehicle and activate the hazard lights, using adaptive cruise control to prevent a collision with the car ahead.
This feature will be available on the upcoming Volkswagen Arteon. Mercedes-Benz also offers a similar technology.