Technology is everywhere and we often use it more than we realize. New types of technologies are constantly being discovered, most of which help us daily. Automotive technology, which is simply just technology found in vehicles, has evolved and it will very likely continue to do so. Although some would say that automotive technology is negative because it can distract drivers or not work properly, meaning that it isn’t always reliable, this technology is actually positive as well as helpful. Automotive technology provides drivers with a safer, easier, and more enjoyable driving experience, making it positive.
Automotive technologies are positive as mentioned above, they can ultimately best be described as lifesaving. Car collisions are unfortunately sometimes deadly. Alan Brown shared with us in his article, “Intelligent safety: newly mandated electronic stability control takes over braking to prevent spinouts–and promises smarter, safer vehicles in the future,” that “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 10 million vehicles were involved in 6.2 million accidents in 2005. Of that, 1.8 million collisions injured nearly 2.7 million people. Another 39,189 crashes left 43,443 dead.” (Brown). Thanks to technologies such as Electronic Stability Control, Seatbelts, Self-braking systems, etc, these numbers have reduced.
With today’s science, the different types of automotive technologies that can be made and given to drivers are virtually endless. Newer model cars have fresh off the line technologies included in them as they are discovered, however, all cars do have safety features in them which are required that are not “fresh off of the line.” According to Martin B. Cowan, author of “Technology and Automotive Safety,” certain features must be in cars by law. Cowan explains to us that “Many safety features are presently mandated by law (e.g., dual air bags, seat belts, electronic stability control, and tire pressure monitors) or are slated to be required in all consumer vehicles in the very near future.” (Cowan).
Certain technologies, such as seat belts and dual air bags as mentioned in this statement, can be found in nearly all automobiles due to their ability to secure both the driver and passengers in their seats and protect them during collisions: these are necessary. Other technologies, such as backup cameras or auto brake systems, are not in all automobiles because they are more recent types of technology and they are more luxurious than they are necessary. Although technologies like these aren’t already in all automobiles, they will soon be placed in all vehicles. Cowan said, “For example, approximately half of all passenger cars sold in the United States today have back-up cameras as standard equipment; they will be required on all passenger cars manufactured after April 30, 2018.” (Cowan).
Technologies like seat belts and air bags as talked about earlier are commonly seen as safety features instead of technologies. Electronic Stability Control, which is also referred to as ESC for short, is always seen as both. Electronic Stability Control is a technology that brakes steering wheels during skids. This remarkable technology helps prevent drivers from steering themselves into danger by keeping the driver in the direction they were going. Not only is this technology one that saves the driver’s life, but it can also save the life of other people on the road and pedestrians by keeping drivers to colliding with them. By keeping the driver from changing directions, the worry of leaving the road can be put to rest. Veering off the road has been known to cause major car accidents, consisting of cars flipping or even running into things such as trees. Alan Brown states that “A 2006 study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that electronic stability control reduced non-fatal, loss-of-control crashes by 53 percent for SUVs and 40 percent for passenger cars.” (Brown). These numbers are huge!
Antilock Brake Systems, also know as ABS, have been placed in cars and help reduce the number of accidents as well. Jeffery Zygmont, author of “Auto Safety,” tells us that “For example, the computer brain of an antilock brake system (ABS) automatically modulates brake pressure so that a driver retains the steering control he’d loose if wheels locked into a skid during hard stops.” (Zygmont). It is safe to say that many technologies are made to prevent drivers from losing control of their vehicles, which can, in turn, keep them from accidentally putting others as well as themselves in danger.
While most technologies are focused on securing passengers or keeping them on the road while stopping collisions, other technologies are made to provide the drivers with an enjoyable ride. Phone-Safe features have become wildly popular and are in many newer model cars, seeing that nearly all drivers have phones and need to communicate with others while on the road. The author of “4 Ways Technology is Making Cars Safer” explains this newer type of technology to us by stating “Phone companies are pairing with automobile companies to either silence your cell phone while you’re driving, or else allow drivers to keep their eyes where they should be, on the road, as messages and calls go through a voice-activated built-in system.” (“4 Ways Technology”) It is doubtful that this technology will be put in every single car in the future knowing that it more of luxury instead of a need, however, this technology is very helpful. Many accidents happen due to texting while driving, so this technology can help prevent more accidents like that from happening. Drivers can now answer calls and messages without having to look at their phones, which helps ensure that they keep their eyes on the road and maintain a deep focus on what is truly important: their driving.
It is beyond important that drivers always pay close attention to their driving. Unfortunately, it is normal for drivers to sometimes lose focus behind the wheel because there can be many distractions on the road, but with the help of technology, disasters can be prevented. With the help of technology, drivers can worry less about hurting themselves or others because technology can enforce that they avoid wrecking. Certain technologies even keep drivers from looking at their phones! As mentioned above, automotive technology can be called negative due to it being distractive or unreliable, however, automotive technology is positive because it helps provide drivers with safer, easier, and more enjoyable experiences on the road: automotive technology is lifesaving. Who knows what automotive technology will be available to us in the future?
- Brown, Alan S. ‘Intelligent safety: newly mandated electronic stability control takes over braking to prevent spinouts–and promises smarter, safer vehicles in the future.’ Mechanical Engineering-CIME, Dec. 2007, p. 34+. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A172597861/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=1d4993f2. Accessed 13 Nov. 2019.
- Cowan, Martin B. ‘Technology And Automobile Safety.’ Experience, Winter 2016, p. 26+. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A579637569/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=1867ef06. Accessed 16 Nov. 2019.
- “4 Ways Modern Technology Is Making Cars Safer.” Cascade Collision, 26 Sept. 2017, cascadecollision.com/blog/4-ways-technology-making-cars-safer/.
- Zygmont, Jeffrey. ‘Auto safety.’ Omni, Aug. 1993, p. 10. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A13986210/AONE?u=kctcsjcc&sid=AONE&xid=da39b82c. Accessed 13 Nov. 2019.