Thursday, October 1, 2015

Newer technologies available to older vehicles to make the road safer

            In this article written by John R. Quain, several newer technologies are discussed that can be added to older cars to them more safe for the driver and those around them. The technologies mentioned in the article range from rearview cameras to speed and distance monitoring apps to smartwatch applications that can lock, unlock and start your car remotely.
            Newer technologies are becoming more available for older cars, helping to keep them as safe as brand new cars. First, the Audiovox aca600, is a backup camera that can be installed on older cars, preventing more accidents, and can be purchased on Amazon for $99. Second, the Mobileye 560 alerts the driver of his/her surroundings such as the lanes, boundaries, cars changing lanes in the vicinity, and possible forward collisions, and can be purchased for $850. A Highway Loss Data Institute study showed that the use of the Mobileye reduced damage claims by fourteen percent. If you don’t want to have to go out to buy these devices, there are mobile smartphone and smartwatch applications that are just as helpful but easier to acquire. Third, the Iphone and Android “iOnRoad,” is a free app that records driving habits, and grades the driver on his/her performance by using the phone camera, to observe, encouraging improvement of safe driving. Finally, “Viper” is an Apple and Android application that can lock, unlock, or even start your car remotely from your device. Although this is very convenient, the installation is $400, and some may question whether it’s worth it to get this or just get a basic auto-start function that has the same functions for less.
            Although these upgrades for older cars help to improve the safety of drivers, there are, as with most things, limitations. For example, it’s not guaranteed that installing a rearview camera will stop anyone that’s that distracted from slamming into something or someone behind him/her. Also, I for one, would not like my driving to be graded by some free app, which can only see what the phone camera can see, and I’m sure that some people would share my opinion. Finally, although the app “Viper” may be convenient, there is no anti-theft mechanism besides the lock, but if a thief would be able to get into the car, then there’s nothing stopping him/her. A simple installation of an alarm system with a gas choke could better secure your car. Overall, John R. Quain presented all of these technologies and uses fairly and effectively.


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1 comment:

  1. After reading this post, I see some potential problems that could result from the technologies discussed. First, tusing a phone app of any kind while driving could be seen as a distraction. People should not be using their phones while driving at all, so an app that requires use of your phone while the car is moving seems contradictory and unsafe. Second, an app that collects data on driving habbits and how safe a driver is could put a driver at a disadvatage when they try to get car insurance. An insurance company could easily access the data of a driver and raise their rates to arbitrarily because they believe a driver wil get into an accident or because the driver drives in more traffic filled areas. This would be unfair to the consumer, who was only trying to imrove their driving with this app. Finally, an app that automatically unlocks and starts your car does have the potential to be hacked. Someone in the area could hack this app, unlock your car, and steal it, thus increasing the potential for car theft. Overall, while I do believe these softwares could be beneficial to drivers in the future, I do believe some bugs need to be worked out before we can fully trust them.


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