How good do you feel about your car’s safety? You can check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s lists of the 2014 Top Safety Picks to see if your car makes the grade. If you are in the market for a new car, it’s particularly handy information. Twenty-two vehicles earned the highest safety awards thanks to a high level of protection in crashes and the availability of front crash prevention technology to avoid many collisions in the first place. Another 17 makes earned awards by meeting the crashworthiness criteria alone.
In addition to the listings, the linked release (above) offers some good information on how these awards were determined – but to really get a sense of their testing and rigorous standards, check out this short video that shows some of the testing in action.
The race is on. Automakers are competing to bring self-driving or “autonomous” cars to the market by 2020. Are robot cars feasible? While it’s not likely that the highways will look like a scene from the Jetsons anytime soon, we can expect to see more and more “semi-autonomous” auto features being widely available starting in 2015 and beyond – features such as collision avoidance systems, lane departure warnings, advanced cruise control that can navigate curves and parking assist systems. But New Englanders and other people living in snowy climates take note: In a report on what it’s like to ride in Google’s driverless car, Joann Muller talks about some of the self-driven car limitations:
“…the driverless car can’t handle heavy rain and can’t drive on snow-covered roads “because the appearance and shape of the world changes. It can’t figure out where to go or what to do.” And engineers are still working on how to program the car to handle “rare events” like encountering a stalled vehicle over the crest of a hill or identifying debris, like a tire carcass, in the middle of the road.”
Are drivers ready for the auto technological innovations to come? Check out this fun infographic from Chubb’s Risk Conversation blog: