In 2010, according to one estimate, 5.4 million automobile crashes resulted in 33,000 deaths and 2.2 million injuries. That’s a ratio of more than 40% injuries to crashes. The good news is that industry experts are claiming that these numbers can be reduced with one simple technology: self-braking cars.
Self-braking technology comes in varying degrees. The least of these is a sensor that sends an audible warning to a driver whenever another object is getting too close to the vehicle. The driver can then apply the brake on his or her own. That’s not really self-braking, but that is a fairly new technology.
What is more common is a new technology called brake assist. Many new vehicles are already equipped with this technology and what happens is the vehicle assists the driver when he or she depresses the brake pedal. This results in a faster slow-down time and is designed to reduce accidents. So far, it has been successful.
A third kind of brake assist technology involves auto braking – the vehicle itself applies a strong brake force if the driver has not done so within .45 seconds. Considering the average brake response time, you can count on that auto braking technology to kick in quite often, and it’s likely to save a lot of lives.
Self-braking auto technology is expected to save a lot of lives and prevent injuries. That could also lead to fewer accidents and lower insurance premiums. I think most drivers would welcome that.
Self-braking technology is just one more bit of evidence that proves auto technology is getting better and better.