Computer Devices Aim to Make Vehicles Safer
Computer-driven systems that steer out of skids, wake dozing drivers and soften collisions with pedestrians were among the safety innovations highlighted last week at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, according to the Associated Press (AP).These improvements will soon be appearing in cars as sophisticated microprocessors are harnessed to protect people, AP reported. The new systems, to appear in the next two or three model years, are testimony to the increasing role computers are taking in today's vehicles, AP said.The designers of the computerized safety systems are now seeking to exploit that trend and extend the gains made with air bags and antilock brakes. "Electronics have just opened up degrees of freedom in what you can do,"said John Nurse, advanced engineering manager at Delphi's Wuppertal, Germany technology center. "We want to devise systems that let people drive without accidents. That's the end goal." But, he said, "that's not going to happen next year."For now, the systems seek to stop some of the common causes of accidents, such as inattention on straight roads, following too closely, and oversteering in skids, according to AP.