Cars that don’t crash are finally here! That is quite a relief for some of us, especially the ones who have their girl friends pestering them to allow them a little stint behind the wheel. I mean, it has gotten annoyingly painful to entirely deny them a chance to show off their driving skills as they are almost asking always. It is a choice between being the chauffeur for every ‘once in a while’ shopping spree that amazingly comes up twice a week and allowing them to take the car all on their own. If you ask me, I would much rather prefer being the chauffeur for the greater interest of both my car and a legal process that I would like to avoid.
But then all those problems will now be only a thing of the past if Volvo, Mercedes and Honda had their way. The three companies will be demonstrating their anti-collision technology at Thatcham, the motor insurance repair research center, in Berkshire on Tuesday. This would mean that you no longer have to worry about those accidents that happen marginally and could be avoided if you had that extra second or two. The technology works on a laser-guidance system that spots vehicles in front that are too close or stopping suddenly. When it does, the car will stop of its own accord to avoid a smash.
Volvo claims that by the end of this year, they will roll the system out in to the market. The new gadget is called the CitySafety system and it kicks in at speeds of up to 20mph and is designed for urban driving. The system will be standard in the XC60 car, priced from £25,000. It is interesting to note a few things here. One is that it is specifically designed for the city drive and that is a sensible thing since one would not want automated brakes at high speeds. Moreover the system slows down the driver by disabling the accelerator and applying brakes.
It is noted that three-quarters of all accidents happen at a pace of 19mph and that means the system can very successfully avoid a wide spectrum of accidents. But the makers also insist that it does not mean that one is allowed to drive recklessly and not care for braking anymore. It is only a safely device, like your crash bag, not a regular feature. It will be interesting if the makers come up with some way of selling the system so that it can be integrated with existing car models that we already own. That would be great news for all of us.
Anyway, I remember a season in which F1 cars were supposed to have no under steer due to automated gear changes controlled by a pre-programmed device. Despite that Michael managed to do that with his Ferrari all over the track and did it beautifully too. So maybe even with this system my girl is going to find a way to crash my car. I mean, when it comes to giving it the ultimate crash test, she could beat even Schume!