En español | Cutting-edge technology — in some cases, the same type used by Navy SEALs — is making the cars we drive safer for everyone, but particularly for older drivers. If you're in the market for a new car, ask about the following features, many of which give drivers more control and better vision.
No one would argue that having more eyes on the road isn't better, right? These systems use cameras and motion sensors to give drivers a better sense of what's coming at them, which can help them react in time to avoid mishaps.
1. Night Vision: Infrared and thermal imaging technology (this is the technology used by SEALs) lets drivers see several hundred yards down the road in darkness by displaying an image of the road and potential hazards on the car's navigation system screen.
2. Pedestrian Detection: Thank the Navy's infrared technology again, this time for a system that acts as a second set of eyes on the road, scanning for objects in the car's path and sounding an alarm if anything is detected.
3. Lane Departure Warning: A forward-facing camera keeps a virtual eye on road lane markers, sounding an alarm if the car crosses lanes. Some systems will automatically brake the car and bring it back into its lane.
4. Blind Spot Warning: This is a monitor of the lanes next to yours; if you begin to steer into a lane that has a vehicle hidden in your blind spot, the system provides both a visual and audible alert.
5. Rear- and Top-View Cameras: Rear-view cameras have become popular with older drivers, as they don't require neck flexibility to safely reverse the car. Top-view cameras take the technology forward, giving a 360-degree virtual view from the vehicle while in motion.
6. Self-Parking: Want to become an expert parallel parker with very little effort? The system controls steering and braking to make sure your car is snug in its parking spot. Nearly hands-free.
And what is driving if not control? Technological advances such as the ones that follow now give drivers an ability to control variables that was once impossible, making for easier driving in wind, rain and generally tough conditions.