A step closer to Transformers… Smart cars!

Posted: February 17, 2017

Admit it! We’ve all been in a position where we are driving around looking for parking only to find that the only parking spot available is a tight one! Question is, how does a person manage to fit into that parking spot without denting their vehicle?

While we’re still waiting for our cars to catch up to Optimus Prime and his ‘Autobots’, and autonomously get us safely from point A to point B, you don’t have to be a petrol head to recognise that technology has brought us some amazing safety features that have made life a little easier. We unpack some of these latest features that are worth investing in as trim options – especially if you’re travelling with children or require driving assistance.

Here’s what you can look out for:

Lane departure warning systems – A.K.A “Lane Assist”:
This feature basically lessens the risk of accidents caused by drivers unintentionally steering out of their lanes due to drowsiness or distraction (yes, texting and driving is a HUGE no-no). How does it help, you ask?

• It can gently counter steer you back into your lane;
• Activates a vibration in the steering wheel to remind you to stay in your lane;
• Activates flashing lights and a warning sound to alert you of your wandering wheels.
The one downside to this safety feature is that it won’t work if it can’t detect road markings, so you may have a problem staying in your lane on poorly marked road surfaces.

Automated braking:

As a member of the collision avoidance systems family (lane assist included), automated braking is used to reduce the risk of your car suffering a collision. So in other words, the car will use a combination of artificial intelligence, cameras, lasers, and radar to detect the chances of an accident and take action – take that, James Bond! This feature may help you avoid a fender bender in bumper-to-bumper city traffic; or a larger collision at a higher speed, by pre-loading the brakes for a harder stop if necessary.

Automated parking – now you too can fit into that tight spot!

As cars get bigger, it’s ironic that parking spaces are getting smaller – right? But it seems that Audi’s 2016 Q7 designers thought ahead and designed it with a parking feature that self-steers into small parking spaces. Not only does this feature make maneuvering into those difficult parking spots, it can also save you from accidentally scraping your fender (and paying to repair your pearlescent paint job…).

While all of these safety features improve the safety and pleasure of one’s driving experience, greatly reducing the possibility of personal injury and damage to your car, convenience does come at a cost. These features may be an optional extra today, but one day they will follow power steering, ABS and airbags, and join the pack of ‘standard’ features. Till then, we shall endure the cost of installing, servicing and repairing these amazing extras.

While technology is making it easier for you to navigate your car, it is also important to get reliable car insurance for your car for extra protection from all the ‘’decepticons’’ on the road!