Freelance Writer (with SmartFinds Marketing) Mike Trudel has written great automotive articles for Delphi. Here is a sample of his work:
Automotive Safety Features Go Green
By Freelance Writer – Mike Trudel
Every year, millions of drivers are injured in automobile accidents. It’s no wonder, then, that experts recently confirmed the automotive market is driven by three major demands: fuel efficiency, environmental responsibility and safety features.
All of this seems straightforward enough. Meeting market demands, however, can be complicated. Adding safety features may mean adding more weight to the vehicle – which can lead to lower fuel economy. Reducing weight in the wrong places could leave passengers’ safety in jeopardy. But leading automotive engineers are somehow finding ways to do it all.
The importance of many advanced safety features lies in their ability to utilize electronics in ingenious ways. Lane departure warning systems, for instance, can use forward looking cameras, which – through advanced technological adaptations – signal an audio or visual alert to drivers when they travel out of their respective lanes. Similarly, infrared side alert systems help drivers become aware of vehicles in their blind spots when making turns or changing lanes with audible and/or visual alerts.
Night vision systems integrate near-infrared illuminators into the headlights and are used with an infrared-sensitive camera and a head-up display to improve drivers’ nighttime visibility without blinding oncoming traffic. The adapted headlights illuminate the road ahead, the camera captures the image, and the head-up display provides an enhanced version of that image to the driver.
While night vision helps give drivers a clearer view of what is happening on the road ahead, smart cruise control with headway alert and stop-and-go actually responds to traffic conditions by reducing the need to manually adjust speed, apply the brakes or disengage cruise control. This type of advanced system can also warn drivers of slower traffic ahead.
Even more exciting, multiple vehicular systems can be integrated – “talk” with each other and create a cocoon of safety around the vehicle. In the future, vehicles may even be able to “talk” to each other through wireless communication. Such technology carries with it the hope of eliminating accidents altogether. Imagine a world where roadway accidents simply aren’t an issue.
Developing the technology for each of these advanced safety features is only one part of the puzzle. Weight, space and environmental challenges must also be met in order to actually apply these technologies. Integration of multiple vehicular systems is one way that automotive engineers are able to find space for the addition of new technologies, while also minimizing added weight. For example, one radar can be used for both Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-crash sensing. Another strategy is to develop and utilize materials that are lighter and smaller than those already being used on a vehicle.
Achieving high-tech, fuel-efficient cars with a green environmental consciousness is complicated, but today’s automotive engineers are up to the challenge. As the automotive industry continues to find creative ways to reduce the weight and size of new and existing automotive technologies, they can fit more of these innovations into the same space while improving fuel economy. More safety features can mean a less hazardous ride. Combined with better fuel economy and an elevated environmental consciousness, that means a better product. It creates a win-win situation – for both the consumer and the environment.
Automotive technology has created possibilities, and with possibilities come hope and expectation. Consumers have big goals and high standards. It’s not enough for vehicles to look good and guarantee a degree of safety. They need to have high-tech safety features, be environmentally friendly and promise fuel efficiency. All of this is possible, and it’s the little changes along the way – like better system integration, smaller components and computer chips, and technical innovation – that will help make it happen.
Delphi is committed to contributing state-of-the-art technologies and innovations in order to help make our roadways safer and greener. For more information, visit:
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