The improved safety of the self-driving car, both for the passengers and other road users are well known.
However, what many people do not understand are the separate systems and technologies that are being built into autonomous vehicles to ensure this advance in safety.
After all, it is not only that the vehicle contains an AI capable of making high-speed decisions, but also that it will be equipped with the following systems and features that will ensure both efficiency and protection.
Read on to find out what they are.
One of the first technologies that you can expect in automated cars is infrared headlights. These are designed to replace the traditional LED headlights that most cars have and, and with good reason.
After all, infrared headlights are much more effective in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, and a driver’s worst nightmare, fog!
Indeed, with infrared potential hazards such as cyclists or pedestrians can be spotted much more easily, effectively preventing and minimising the risk of collision.
Of course, for such detection systems to be truly effective a vehicle also needs to be equipped with the proper hardware for safety such as tires and wheels that can be deployed when the car needs to break.
Fortunately, it is now possible to buy wheels of very high quality online. This means you can ensure your vehicle, automated or not, always has the safest wheels and tires fitted, at the best price.
Other benefits of using infrared headlights are they can be adapted to read road signage including speed limits and notifications for hazards or roundabouts, something that will feed more information to the self-driving car’s AI and so make it more effective at making the safest decision possible.
Being able to remotely shut down a self-driving vehicle
Many people worry about the potential for hacking, or faults in self-drive cars that would leave them vulnerable to accidents. Fortunately, there is a type of tech that has been designed to minimize any such risk and it is known as a remote shutdown feature.
Indeed, by being able to remotely shut a car down, ultimate control and therefore safety lies outside of the vehicle itself. However, remote shutdown tech is not without its issues.
The first of which is that it needs to be applied in tandem with information from the self-driving car’s AI. Otherwise, it could put both passengers and other road users in great danger.
It is also worth noting that currently, remote shutdown tech has a locus of around 50 meters. This means that shut down from a centralized point is not yet possible, which does significantly limit its potential at this time.
Real-time health monitoring
Some non-automated vehicles already have sensors to detect if a driver falls asleep. However, in the next generation of cars, we can expect much more detailed monitoring of passengers.
In fact, many automobile manufacturers are working on systems that can pick up any real-time health issues that would cause a safety risk.
These issues may include events such as a heart attack, exhaustion, and even intoxication. Of course, when using such a vehicle in a fully automated mode, such tech won’t be so important as there will be no human driver in control.
However, as most self-driving cars will also come with a manual drive option, real-time health monitoring remains an important safety feature for the future.
Lots of people are used to using a HUD or ‘heads-up display’ in computer games, however, in the future vehicles may have such a feature built into the windscreen, something that will primarily occur with the magic of AR or augmented reality.
Indeed, in self-driving cars, the need for road visibility by passengers is vastly decreased, something that allows windshields to be used to display other important information such as journey tracking, estimated time of arrival, fuel usage, and even cabin temperature.
Some experts even suggest that AR could be used to provide a visual guide to diagnoses and faults within the vehicle. Something that could make problems easier to find and repair, even by those untrained in the skills of the auto mechanic.
Biometric vehicle access
Biometrics is a technology that anyone with an Apple phone already uses when they scan their face or fingerprint. However, it is also set to become a crucial feature in the cars of the future. Indeed, there are two major benefits to using biometrics for vehicle access.
The first of these is security. After all, it becomes much harder for someone to break in or gain unsanctioned access to your car if they need to provide biometric data.
The second major benefit of biometric vehicle access in the future is that it can be used to set up driving and passenger profiles that are customized specifically for the needs of the individual involved.
For example, a family may share a car, but the father may prefer to manually drive the vehicle while the teenage son is happier to rely on the automated driving features.
When using biometrics, each user can have their own preference preset into the car to be automatically delivered on entry.
Dynamic real-time traffic alerts and maps
As you have probably worked out by now, the real advantage to a self-driving car is its capacity to analyze huge amounts of data and use this to make safer and more effective driving decisions.
Such data, however, will not only come from sensors placed on the vehicle, but also via independent systems such as live traffic alerts and real-time maps.
Indeed, in the first case, live traffic alerts mean self-driving cars can take a proactive approach to congestion, and avoid it altogether.
Whereas live map data will make sure that any hazards such as roadworks, potholes, as well as weather-related issues like black ice will be detected and accounted for.
Something that without a doubt will make driving in the future both safer and more efficient, whether you choose to go fully automated or, on occasion, opt to get behind the wheel yourself.