Monday, November 16, 2009
Over the years there have been some strange features/contraptions to have been installed on cars across the world.
Some people would call them innovative, others may call them bizarre - the latest car feature that has caught my eye is Ford's inflatable seatbelt. It's currently only available on models in the US - but surely it won't take off worldwide?
Don't worry though - the seatbelt isn't inflated for the duration of your journey, in the event of an accident it uses 'airbag technology' to inflate and expand around a traditional seatbelt.
The purpose of this new seatbelt is to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries among the more vulnerable passengers.
Other innovative technology that has recently been introduced in the 'Eco Pedal' from Nissan. The Eco Pedal is a simple feature that has been produced with the aim of cutting emissions. According to figures the Eco Pedal can reduce emissions by 10-15%, depending on the way you drive.
There is a light on the dashboard which indicates when you are driving within the 'optimum acceleration range for fuel economy'. The pedal slightly adjusts to ensure that you keep driving at this level - it may sound strange but you can't actually feel the pedal pushing back.
This pedal was introduced on selected models earlier this year.
Stop/Start technology has become quite popular throughout 2009 and is another feature that has been designed to preserve fuel and cut emissions. Stop/ Start technology automatically switches off your cars engine when you are stationary - at traffic lights for example. As soon as you press the clutch again the engine turns itself back on. This enables you to preserve your fuel, which means that you'll save money when you get to the pumps.
According to some recent research 15% of all cars will have this technology by 2015.
The new Lexus LS600 features some innovative and highly intelligent lights. By making use of a camera sensor in the rear view mirror, the Lexus is able to detect street lamps, oncoming traffic and vehicles travelling ahead - very clever!
The final feature I want to mention in this article is the safety-inspired 'lane sensors' which detect whether or not your vehicle begins to creep into the next lane. If this happens the device will set off a small beep to alert you...and save you from crashing into the vehicle driving alongside you!
This feature would be especially useful if it was installed in lorries as I always find them starting to creep into my lane on the motorways!
So, when it comes to new car features anything is possible...what's next?
Lucy Penn is an online marketer and researcher who is currently researching new Ford Sussex at http://www.lifestyleeurope.co.uk/ford.
Labels: Innovative Cars