Continental's Innovative Technologies
Get You Home Safe
By Samantha Gasco
The kids are yelling, the radio is streaming, your cell phone is ringing and before you know it you are standing on the side of the road exchanging contact information with a car that was caught in your blind-spot.
This is a situation many people, especially commuters, face every day. And although our own hectic lifestyles can often distract our attention from the road, we can never tell what other drivers will do. Over 90 percent of all accidents are due to driver error, all it takes is one blind-spot or spike of the breaks and you are all of a sudden in a dangerous situation.
With over 43,000 people dying on our highways each year, safety should be a major concern for everyone when purchasing a new vehicle. Sure all vehicles come with airbags and seatbelts that protect us during and after an accident, but wouldn’t it be better if you could prevent them in the first place?
International automotive supply company, Continental, has developed new technologies with its ContiGaurd Intelligent Vehicle Safety Systems that take an active safety approach to help prevent accidents. A variety of these innovative Active-Passive Integrated Safety systems are already on the road and saving thousands of lives. These features help avoid rollovers, maintain safe driving distances and can warn drivers if a vehicle is passing through a blind-spot.
Some of these advanced safety features include Electronic Stability Control, Active Rollover Protection, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control, all of which controlled through camera and sensor intelligence can significantly reduce the number of accidents occurring on our highways.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) automatically helps drivers control their vehicles in all weather conditions. For those drivers who are not strangers to ice and snow conditions, this feature could be considered a blessing. ESC is essentially a co-pilot that compensates for any differences in a drivers intended course. Whether rain, sleet, snow or a foreign object in the road, ESC automatically improves traction, maneuverability and stability. It may seem too good to be true, but the ESC systems are actually already reducing single vehicle crashes by nearly 35 percent.
Another feature that many commuters and late-night drivers could appreciate is the Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Whether searching for your favorite radio station or turning to answer a child’s question, any momentary lapse of concentration could cause you to drift into another lane. Every driver has done this at least once, whether they admit to it or not, it’s always a scary situation. What the LDW system does is use a camera to provide the driver with feedback when the vehicle unintentionally drifts into another lane by gently guiding the vehicle onto its original path.
When I was able to test the LDW feature for the first time, I fell in love with it. The feedback is extremely helpful without being intrusive, and does not kick in if the driver is turning intentionally or using turn signals. Being someone with a lengthy commute, I believe both of these features are vital for anyone who spends a great deal of time in their car.
The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) helps provide drivers with a safe and relaxed cruise by preventing tailgating and high-speed collisions. Using sophisticated radar measurements, ACC helps you control your distance and speed relative to the vehicle in front of you. If the car slows down in front of you, your car will keep with that pace, preventing you from coming too close and potentially preventing an accident. It can almost be thought of as another set of eyes, incase yours get distracted. It is important to understand that this feature, as well as the others, does not give excuse for lazy driving, they are only there to assist you.
This is only a glimpse of the plethora of intelligent safety features being developed and produced by Continental as part of the ContiGaurd system. Many of these features can already be found on the roads today and some are even coming standard in many new-model vehicles. If you are someone who is always on the go, especially with children, ask your dealer about these innovative features when looking to purchase your next vehicle.