The future is now—or at least, soon. The New York Daily News reported last month on some startling innovations in automobile safety systems that are being tested in Japan.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Managing Officer Moritaka Yoshida said that the way to ensure future car safety is to do three things:
- prevent collisions;
- avoid hitting pedestrians; and
- help elderly drivers.
Toyota recently completed construction of a testing facility near Mount Fuji in central Japan, that will test smart-car technology beginning on Japanese roads as early as 2014; tests will be carried out in the United States, as well, but details of these tests have yet to be determined. The cars, part of the Intelligent Transport System, are able to pick up information from sensors and transmitters located on the streets. The information enables a car to
- avoid missing a red light that the driver would otherwise have missed;
- detect cars that are emerging from blind spots;
- alert the driver to approaching vehicles at an intersection—an important capability because according to Toyota, 50 percent of car crashes occur at intersections; and
- make the driver aware of pedestrians.
Other new features unveiled by Toyota include one that assists a driver to brake harder when a collision with the car ahead is imminent. This addresses the problem presented by drivers who panic and don’t press hard enough on the brake to avoid a wreck. New Toyota sonar sensors can help prevent drivers from getting into accidents in parking lots. Another system detects when a driver erroneously presses the gas pedal instead of the brake, and it stops the car automatically.
Nissan Motor Co., another innovative automobile manufacturer, recently revealed its own smart-car technology. Cars were able to
- brake themselves;
- park themselves; and
- swerve to avoid pedestrians that suddenly appeared in the vehicles’ way.
Experts claim that cars that can move and stop themselves—unassisted by a driver—are within the realm of imminent reality. Alberto Broggi is a professor at the University of Parma and an expert on intelligent transportation systems. He predicts that “accident-free” cars will be on some roads within several years.
Cars do not drive themselves—yet. If you have been injured in a Kentucky car crash caused by another driver, contact Gray and White Law right away. We’ll schedule you for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our Louisville car accident attorneys. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456.