We’ve seen what adaptive cruise control and other crazy safety technologies are capable of, so why stop there? Come on auto engineers, let’s get on with these 10 new and unheard-of safety features.
10.) Built-In Dashcam
We may have aftermarket dashcams and performance data recorders of sorts, but no car currently comes from the factory with a purpose-built dash cam that’s usable for every day driving recording. GM’s Performance Data Recorder comes close, but unfortunately it’s only usable in the valet, sport, and track drive modes.
What’s stopping automakers from taking that technology, but letting it record 24/7 with upload direct to an encrypted cloud storage system? Just ya know, figure out the legal part and all the privacy issues that might go along with that. EASY PEASY.
9.) In-Cabin Emergency Siren Audio
This safety tool would allow for emergency sirens to be broadcasted directly into car cabins. This could later lead to less-deafening fire truck sirens, more alert drivers and overall, quieter cities and neighborhoods. All things I would be very excited for.
Maybe we should broadcast them into the headsets of pedestrians as well.
8.) Undercarriage Damage Warning
If only there was a sensor or something that could give drivers a heads up on when their car or truck is in danger of bottoming out. Off roaders would love it, stance-bros would love it, NYC-pothole avoiders would love it. Let’s make it happen.
7.) Vehicle-To-Vehicle Messaging
No, this wouldn’t be so you could message your bae in the car three cars down. A vehicle-to-vehicle messenger like the one that this reader dreamt up could allow for motorists to notify other motorists if they left their blinker on, they were lane hogging, their high beams were left on or maybe even if they were just driving like an all around asshole.
6.) Crash Emergency Beacon
What happens if you crash in the middle of nowhere? Reader As Du Volant has got us covered:
An emergency beacon that goes off automatically in the event of a crash, or can be manually activated in case of other emergency. Maybe have it transmit on the same frequency emergency responders use.
Something like this could save lives when a car leaves the road and ends up in a ditch in the middle of nowhere, someone breaks down in the desert or Alaskan wilderness, etc.
5.) Moose/Deer Catcher
If wayward animals could just be pushed or “flipped” out of the road instead of taking the impact with their adorable little faces and destroying cars everywhere, I would be a happy camper. And maybe my country-road night driving paranoia would even fade away.
Something like Hyundai’s Walking Dead Elantra. Just maybe without those spikes.
4.) Tire Wear Monitor
Because many consumers are too unaware or too lazy to check the physical wear bars on their tires, it would only make sense to have a monitor and alert system to let some of those less caring drivers on the road know when their tires are bald.
It’s like a tire pressure sensor, but for the tread.
3.) Active Courtesy Lane Management
Since this nation’s driver’s education programs can’t seem to nail the simple concept of “lane courtesy” down in our driver’s heads, how about a technology that’s courteous for them? If a sensor or radar recognizes that it’s safe to move over to the right, the car can do it automatically. Or at least maybe remind the driver to do it.
2.) Auto-Dimming Windshield
We’ve heard of Mercedes-Benz’s Magic Sky Control, but there’s no sign of a technology that can automatically dim the top part of a windshield to shade directly where the sun is shining, then “undim” it when the sun goes away to improve vision.
I’m tired of moving my sun visor back and forth, dammit. Let’s get on with this.
1.) Cell Phone Disabler
Automakers, let’s kill the killer and actually do something that will put a slow on distracted driving and motor vehicle deaths. Implement a cell phone signal jammer for car cabins and prevent teens and adults alike from picking up their phones and endangering themselves and those around them.
Sure there would be a few kinks. Like maybe the other passengers wouldn’t be able to use their phones either. Maybe Waze would stop working, but hell! These are things we can work around!
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