Times are changing so fast with car technology that it is difficult to keep up! Cars these days are like mini computers, allowing information from changing road and vehicle conditions to be monitored and acted upon.
My first car - back in the day, was a gold Fiesta Ghia. It wasn't new, but it was to me. I thought it was top of the range, with it's cassette player and sunroof.
|My first car was a bit like this, but gold!|
Driving a car then was quite a feat. Cars had a choke, which you had to pull out when cold and gradually push in as the car warmed up. This was tricky, as too much choke would flood the engine and you were stuck until it sorted itself. Many a time I would set off to work, only to have to go back inside for another cup or tea, due to flooding the engine!
In those days you got to know your car inside and out, it almost became a member of the family as you talked to it in the mornings, coaxing it to start, so that you could get to your destination on time.
Cars were also a little unsafe. My boyfriend (now husband) picked me up for our first date in a total death trap. On our way to the cinema the passenger door swung open as we went round the corner!
How will cars become safer to drive in the future?
Technology is developing fast, so that safety features which up until now have been impossible, are already being researched.
How about a car that can communicate with other vehicles on the road?
It could soon become a possibility that cars will be able to warn the driver of potential collisions by communicating with other vehicles that may have jumped a red light, driven too near or breached stopping distances. In an emergency the car could automatically hit the brake to avoid imminent collision.
Cars that can communicate with the road.
Research is taking place to develop cars that can communicate with the road. This will enable drivers to be alerted to hazardous road conditions, speed limits, road works and any unexpected hazard that cannot be predicted visually eg oil spillages.
Years ago it was a science fiction dream that cars would be able to drive themselves. Whole movies and television series were written based on this dream - think Night Rider! Now self driving cars are a close reality. As human error is the main source of 95% of accidents a driverless car could improve safety considerably!
We have been used to driving cars with airbags for a number of years now and fatalities and injuries have been reduced. There is now research being carried out for cars to have an external airbag, so that cars can be stopped before crashing.
These are just a few of the ways that cars are currently being developed to improve safety in the future. The new hybrid cars are now being seen more often on the UK's roads and the fact that they use electric rather than petrol for fuel will have a great impact on the environment in the reduction of emissions. Great news for people with breathing conditions such as asthma! Solar energy panels are being developed for hybrid cars, which will be able to collect and store energy. This will reduce the need for heavy batteries on board. Hopefully these cars will become cheaper in the future so they can become more accessible to the average driver.