Road safety is a concern for most (if not all) countries around the world. To minimize the risk of car accidents, many countries are taking initiatives. Such initiatives include introducing new technologies.
Road safety technologies
Road safety technologies are state-of-the-art. In-vehicle equipment keep alerting the driver, so he stays mindful and drives prudently. Mobile apps are a new addition to this list. This press release talks about an app for those who drive on European roads. As for the United States, the country is lately administering the growth of several technologies, so drivers could meet the rigorous safety standards and stay safe.
Road safety technologies can be grouped under three main categories; such categories are;
- Vehicle improvement
- Road information
- Driver-behavior control
A trucking company or a commercial fleet owner is recommended to use technologies from all three of these categories because that could nullify the odds of accidents on the road.
Thanks to Google, self-driving cars are a reality now. The very first advantage of such cars is less number of accidents on the road. We humans can never drive as efficiently as an artificial intelligence can. We, for example, drive being packed with other vehicles on the road, which makes it difficult to leave the freeway and change lanes. But self-driving cars are programmed to maintain accurate spacing.
Self-driving cars can communicate with each other, which ensures evenly spaced intervals and eliminates traffic congestion. As each car occupies less space, more vehicles are found on the highway, which implies an increased highway capacity.
Improper parking often causes truck accidents. Self-driving cars are programmed for accurate parking. They park themselves and return back to the owners, whenever they need them. There's hardly any surprise that Business Insider speculated 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020.
Samsung spearheads this initiative. The technology is exclusively for long-distance shipping or delivery trucks. The prototypes come with a see-through system embedded in them, which allows for trailing vehicles to see other passenger cars that are ahead of the trucks. This can cut down the number of truck accidents.
Overtaking a big-rig is very risky. Despite that, many passenger vehicles overtake trailer-trucks only to get a clear view of what's ahead. The see-through system eliminates the need for overtaking as the transparent interface lets passenger vehicle drivers behind large trucks clearly see what's coming.
The trailing traffic gets the see-through view on day and night. The individual components of this fascinating technology are a wireless front camera and outdoor rear monitors. Currently, the safety truck is nothing more than a prototype. But it'll soon become a reality as Samsung has tested its functionality in Argentina. The results have been promising.
Traffic signals of tomorrow will feature more than red, yellow and green lights. They will allow developers to program them. Programming will allow for a traffic signal to perform certain tasks.
Such tasks include keeping a track of a large volume of historical data and charting a signal plan based on them. The purpose of the plan is to reduce congestion and ease the flow of traffic on the road. Such traffic signals can increase the green light time. The vehicles won't be stuck at a signal for long, and avoid collisions.
High-tech traffic signals were set up in Utah in 2013. The results were surprising; the odds of hitting a red signal reduced to a mere 28% in November of that year. That's not all! The signals were so advanced that they collected data feed entirely on their own. In 2015, many other states are opting for smart signaling system to minimize the red-light time, and accommodate the surging flow of traffic.
Despite following all safety precautions, a car can still hit another car or a person travelling on foot. What'd happen then? Well, in-vehicle accident prevention tools can account for pedestrian safety, even when someone is being hit by a car. A Swedish company has already developed a system, which pops an airbag out from the hood, whenever a car hits a walker. This way, the walker incurs fewer injuries.
See the image below:
In the forthcoming years, the scope of such technologies will increase further, resulting in a declining number of road accidents.
Wait for them
This discussion points out the next-generation accident prevention and road safety technologies are here already, but not to and fro. I am hopeful that in the not-so-distant future, they'd be widely available. Hence, we just need to wait for them a little longer.
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