Vehicle safety continues to be more important than ever as larger numbers of young drivers get on the road every year. Auto safety has drastically adapted over the years, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that newer cars continue to be safer than older cars. In a recent study, they estimated that an average vehicle today has a 56% lower fatality rate than vehicles manufactured in the late 1950s. They estimate that advancements in auto safety technology have saved almost 600,000 lives between 1960 and 2021.
In the past five years, vehicle safety has advanced even further to help reduce accidents. Features like lane assist, external vehicle cameras, and even automatic breaking have become standards in vehicle manufacturing. Overall, auto accident fatalities are in decline as technology advances, and in 2021, you can expect even more in vehicle safety innovation.
Here is our list of the top innovative auto technologies in 2021.
Pedestrian & Animal Detection
Let’s face it, cell phones can be a major distraction for drivers. According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by cell phones. One of the most exciting innovations of this year includes the new pedestrian and animal detection cameras. These infrared cameras can sense movement and body heat and will automatically brake if it senses movement. Many popular auto manufacturers like Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and more are already starting to incorporate this feature.
Driver Assist Technology
Most automakers have incorporated types of driver-assist technologies, as those like Tesla battle to release full self-driving subscriptions. These technologies help avoid accidents, keep drivers alert, and can even park the car automatically. Driver-assist includes features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alerts, reverse brake assist, lane departure warnings, and lane-keep assist. Look out for these systems when purchasing a new vehicle.
Adaptive headlights seem to be a common-sense newer feature where the headlights are linked to the steering system and turn in the same direction that you’re turning. This brightens the area you’re turning into, reducing any potential sight hazards, especially in areas where there isn’t much street lighting. This feature can also reduce hazards on windy roads.
360-Degree Camera Views
Backup cameras have now become a safety standard as many automakers strive to include 360-degree camera views in their vehicles. This feature is a few years old but has become more relevant in new 2021 vehicles. In tighter spaces, especially when driving in the city, or making sharp back-up turns, this 360-degree camera view ensures you will not hit anything. It also is an incredible tool to use when parallel parking, or parking a larger vehicle like a semi-trailer truck.
Video Rearview Mirror
This interesting new feature takes the usefulness of your back-up camera and places the picture in your most-used mirror view. This view reduces blind-spots and acts as a rear-view mirror when items in your trunk block the view. In most vehicles that offer this innovative auto feature, you can toggle back and forth between the camera view and standard mirror view.
Blind-Spot Camera Monitor View
Similar to and alongside lane-assist, this feature puts safety back into switching lanes, especially on busy highways. In most vehicles that offer this blind-spot camera view, the camera triggers in your dash when you put your turn signal on, signaling to the system that you’re attempting to change lanes or turn onto a new street. This blind-spot view gives you a first glance at what’s next to you, whether it is a small vehicle on the highway or a bicycle on a windy road.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is probably one of the most advanced auto safety technologies that have been launched in the past few years. Most auto manufacturers have committed to adding this safety feature standard in all new vehicles. This innovative feature automatically activates your vehicle’s brakes when it senses an accident, which has proven to majorly minimize and even avoid the risk of an accident. Even if you’re breaking, AEB can brake harder if it senses that you need to stop sooner.
Teen Driver Technology
As of now, General Motors is leading the charge in teen driver technology. This safeguard offers features like notifications for driving at higher speeds, volume limits on sound systems, and safe driving reports that include whether systems like ABS were triggered while driving. This advancement in driver technology helps put parents’ minds at ease when handing over the keys to their new teen driver.
These top auto safety features in 2021 aren’t even close to the end of the list. Manufacturers have also recently launched wireless smartphone charging and connectivity, exit warning alerts to protect cyclists, attention assist, motion sensors for locked children and animals in hot cars, and even external airbags to help reduce accident impacts.