Car technology taking a right turn


Safety features like Lane Change Assist are becoming more and more popular as time progresses. (Internet Photo)

Nabeela Syed, Contributing Writer

Ever since Henry Ford’s booming automobile industry, companies have been competing to innovate the automobile to expand their markets. Although the automobile industry has faced a number of concerning advancements including the musical car horn and the in-car microwave, there seems to be a bright future ahead for the automotive industry. Automotive industries have taken a right turn to increase safety technology within their automobiles, creating simplistic and efficient methods to maximize the protection of their consumers.

Within this year, several cars are adopting the lane change assist technology. Designed to monitor traffic lanes nearby, the system enables people to change lanes without the consequences of bad estimation.

Although safety technology seems to benefit the consumers of the cars, it also benefits the car industry and insurance companies. Drivers education instructor James Guest, notes the reason behind the advancements in car safety.

“Vehicle safety is a big selling point for car dealerships,” Guest said. “The vehicle safety development was motivated by insurance companies.”

Even with the safety benefits to the passenger and the driver, cars are incorporating technology to protect pedestrians. Volvo recently announced the 2015 Volvo XC90 to be including the brand new pedestrian detection system. The car implements a camera detection system that enhances exposure to pedestrians in the dark, and if detected, the car automatically applies the brakes.

Although these advancements are tailored towards all age groups, marketing for cars ensures to appeal to the current driver generation. In an age incredibly dependent on the internet, losing a solid Wi-Fi connection seems overdramatically tragic and in some cases, it is. Losing internet connection in terms of accessing a GPS or map could be detrimental on the road, but now that is not a problem. Companies like Audi, BMW, and Chrysler are offering internet access in several models of their cars in 2015.

Although this age of innovative technology seems exciting, automotive teacher Steve Elza notes the dangers of these advancements.

“The question I pose to all of this technology and being linked to a satellite is what happens when people begin hacking into cars technology,” Elza said. “There are two aspects, first is theft, but the other, much worse in my opinion, is taking control of a vehicle.”

In the early 20th century hacking car technology was not a concern, but with the increased complexity in modern cars, hackers are finding ways to control the computer systems within cars as well. With ensuring car safety on the road, companies are now working to provide safety within the car’s technological system as well. Ford automobile hardware comes with built-in firewalls, and Toyota recently started embedding security chips into the small computers within the car. While technology may be advancing somewhat dangerously, the car industry is effectively working to keep up with the threats on the road and in the car.

Needless to say, Elza also agrees that the benefits of this technology are extremely valuable for this generation as well as future ones.

“I believe that all these safety features save lives and avoid accidents,” Elza said. “Safety devices have been included in cars since the early 1900’s and continue to grow in current day.”