Now that stay at home orders and border restrictions are being lifted, drivers are starting to return behind the wheel. In fact, automobile experts predict renewed consumer demand will see up to a 9% global sales increase, with IHS Markit forecasting Europe as a leading market.

Author & Guest Blogger: Bethany Johnson, Writer and Freelance tech blogger

SwissCognitive, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Bots, CDO, CIO, CI, Cognitive Computing, Deep Learning, IoT, Machine Learning, NLP, Robot, Virtual reality, learningHowever, along with an increase in cars will inevitably come an increase in vehicular accidents. The European Commission shared that there are 42 road deaths for every 1 million inhabitants. In line with this, vehicular tech upgrades are becoming more popular—especially, considering that they could be lifesaving.

Here are a few examples that both new and seasoned drivers should think about investing in:

1. GPS tracking system

As thieves get craftier, stolen vehicle recovery is harder even for law enforcement. That is unless you have a GPS tracking system which Verizon Connect explains can even detect active theft situations. For instance, if a vehicle is turned on or moved out of determined geofence, car owners and law enforcement can be alerted early.

2. Hands-free Bluetooth connectivity

Though avoiding texting while driving is one of the most basic rules, many drivers still admit to doing it. However, texting on the road can increase the chances of a vehicular accident by up to 23 times. To keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, opt for a wireless Bluetooth device. Many models are simply plug-and-play, so you can install this and adjust it easily. This device allows you to take calls, dictate texts, and listen to music hands-free. Newer cars can plug this into their car stereo system via auxiliary port, while older cars can use a cassette adaptor.

3. Head-up display

It only takes two seconds after a driver is distracted for an accident to happen, according to the European Road Safety Observatory. Now think back on how many times you glance down at your gauges. A head-up display (HUD), projects your car’s vitals (speed, mileage, and navigation) onto your windshield. This means you don’t have to break your line of vision at any time. Despite its seemingly space-age aesthetic, a HUD is relatively affordable (around 100CHF) and easy to install yourself. Many models simply need to be hooked up to your car’s computer connection or via smartphone.

4. Dashcam

It seems the Internet is full of dashcam footage nowadays—and for good reason. Dashcams are there for your safety and for those around you. This discreet camera can document hours of content that can be used for insurance; to monitor driving patterns, which is especially useful if you share cars; and to record any offending third party. For instance, your dashcam could capture a dangerous driver or a car thief. Newer smart dashcam technology can also record the speed of vehicles in its view. AI and machine learning-enabled models can even automatically classify any anomalies in the footage, thereby making it easier to report accidents or concerning incidents. Basic models only cost around 100CHF but some advanced cameras can even be voice-activated. Considering that the CDC estimates worldwide car crashes to be worth $1.8 trillion (1.65CHF), the dashcam is a worthy buy.

5. Radar sensors

Radar sensors are devices electronically wired attachments to the rear bumper of your car. These sensors can significantly eliminate the dangers of blind spots or changing lanes. Using a flashing LED light and a warning sound, radar sensors will alert you if there are any vehicles in your blind spot. Many radar sensors also have a cross-traffic systems alert that lets you know when a car is coming your way. This essentially gives you 360-degree awareness, even if your rear backup cameras and mirrors don’t. This technology is noteworthily being optimized in autonomous vehicles, too. These sensors together with 3D cameras can detect environmental conditions much like a human driver would. They simultaneously pick up detailed images to make real-time calculations that the computer’s AI system uses to determine its course of action. So if there are any factors (other motorists, traffic jams, or road signs) that will affect your commute, the AI will use the radar sensors to make any necessary adjustments. In the future, this is even expected to provide safe passage in poor visibility conditions.

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Companies have long known the advantages of tech upgrades, especially those in logistics. In a previous article on the Future Role of AI in Logistics and Transportation, we discussed how these technologies optimized predictive analytics to determine routes, fuel consumption, delivery times and more. As we enter a new era of digital adoption, upgrading our vehicular safety and experience becomes just as easy for the everyday driver.

About the Author:

Bethany Johnson is a freelance tech blogger. Her goal is to keep her readers up to date on the latest tech trends happening across industries. In her free time, she plays chess.