Our previous articles have looked at how modern technologies have evolved and morphed to provide the ‘in-car’ driving experience almost as if we are sitting in our armchairs at home. And whilst manufacturers have cleverly realised that the modern driver needs more than just a vehicle that gets them to work each day with minimum comforts, they have also realised that technology can help cover up a multitude of sins.
Driving aids have come seemingly in fads over the years, but with the advent of the smaller computer chips, and more accessible internet, features built into modern cars can actually help make us look like better drivers than perhaps some of us are.
A large portion of car insurance claims historically, haven’t been from high impact crashes, but smaller ‘knocks’ and ‘bumps’. With rear cameras, and proximity sensors, this has made parking and manoeuvring one’s vehicle much easier. In fact, some manufacturers have gone a step further and now have sensors that automatically help create distance between your vehicle and the car in front. Brake too fast or dramatically and electronic braking systems on many cars will kick in and slow the car safely, whilst simultaneously setting off your hazzard lights to alert drivers behind you.
Some of the aids are a lot more subtle. In fact, many drivers may not even appreciate just how easy modern technology has made driving. Starting to rain? If your car has rain sensors the wipers will automatically come on when you need them. Getting dark? Dipped beam will turn on. Most cars now have running lights set to default ‘on’ as standard.
What about lending your prized possession to somebody else. Grown up kids? Worry no more, rev limiters will stop many cars from over-revving. ECU technology can also record a particular journey for you in terms of average speed, average fuel consumption etc, as well of course, as mileage covered.
In terms of data logging, car insurance has, for a few years now, relied partly on black box data recorders for newer and inexperienced drivers. Many insurers insist on these and many offer significant discounts for using them. As well as recording the performance of a cars driver, these clever black boxes can also alert police to an accident involving a car which is fitted with one.
The Police are also a fan of trackers. These helped transform the physical security of cars by allowing a car to be monitored in terms of it’s speed and location, remotely. If it’s stolen, there’s a far better chance of recovery if your car has a tracker.
Then there is maintenance. Is the service due? Are the tyres inflated ok? Oil level? Many car ECU’s record and report this useful data to you via your car’s dashboard.