Distracted driving is an epidemic responsible for claiming a growing number of lives each year. But some of those same technologies so frequently responsible for taking our eyes off the road are being reworked to help ensure we drive more safely.
In fact, the future of our driving safety rests largely in the hands of such tools.
A number of new applications are already on the way for our increasingly connected cars, including technologies that allow our vehicles to converse with each other while on the road, those that allow our cars, trucks, and buses to “speak” to surrounding infrastructure, and even those that could temporarily disable other devices that are leading to a growing number of accidents.
These new tools would work by stepping in to aid our everyday drives—whether physically, by making the car react to something that we either don’t see or respond to quickly enough; or verbally, through warnings or suggestions.
All told, more than 4.5 million accidents—or 81% of all annual vehicle crashes—could be potentially prevented by such intervention, according to estimates from the United StatesDepartment of Transportation (USDOT).
But before we can benefit from these technologies, we have to teach our cars—and our roads—to be a little bit smarter.