Around 1.3 million people die annually due to road crashes and collisions, or nearly 3,287 deaths per day. An estimated 20-50 million are injured or disabled, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASRT). According to the WHO, road accidents are the main causes. Risk factors are speeding, alcohol or drug use, distracted driving, unsafe vehicles, hazardous roads, and poor enforcement of traffic laws. The good news is that technology is developing rapidly to address these concerns to save lives and improve drivers’ and other users’ road safety.
Autonomous vehicles that think for you
Fully autonomous vehicles might take some time before hitting the roads due to technical and legal issues that need to be sorted out, but you can already enjoy some of the benefits of self-driving cars. Whereas telematics would help you lower your insurance premiums by tracking your driving habits, nowadays, you can go for a vehicle equipped with assistive features to make cruising safer and more efficient. Technologies such as lane assist & lane departure warning, advanced cruise control, intelligent speed adaptation, and emergency braking help improve safety and comfort. And if you think you’re horrible at parking, fret no more, as even auto parking is a cool innovation that helps you achieve that perfect maneuver with the press of a button. Just keep an eye on things in case the mechanics fail.
Artificial intelligence for seamless communication
To reduce or eliminate distracted driving, artificial intelligence allows you to talk to your devices, GPS, and infotainment systems without taking your hands off the wheel or fumbling around with the buttons on the screen. The main players are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s CarPlay, and Google’s Android Auto. Toyota, Ford, VW, BMW, and Lexus are some of the brands fitted with this innovative technology. The next time you get behind the wheel, talk to Alexa and let the cloud-based voice control bring you to places and take you home with just a few words.
Smart roads that guide and show the way
Their study of the factors contributing to road accidents stated that ‘increased prevalence of visual and cognitive impairment’ among older drivers influences collisions. Poor visibility on the street and inferior road quality play a role in accidents. With the fusion of technology on smart roads, better visibility is expected day and night. Daan Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure of the Netherlands partnered to introduce energy-efficient highway lighting. In Oss’s city, the special photo-luminescent coating on the lanes of N329 glows in the dark and is powered without electricity.