Imagine a world without Whiplash – well for starters, we’d all be out of a job! But there’d also be a whole lot less pain suffered and hospitals could save millions of pounds each year. The truth is, a world without whiplash injury claims is actually a lot closer than you think, due indirectly to the potential for self driving cars.
Research is being done in the US to further develop autonomous braking technology, which uses radar positioned in the bumpers to sense when other vehicles or obstacles get too close and applies the brakes. Work is also being carried out on the development of ‘lane-keeping support’ which applies a correcting force through the steering if the driver drifts out of their lane.
The autonomous braking technology has already been in use on high-end vehicles for some years and has recently made it into more reasonably priced family vehicles. Manufacturers of the system are working on developing adaptive cruise control and intelligent speed adaptation, which can prevent a driver exceeding the speed limit.
If all of the technology were to be included in one car then the result is a car that virtually can control its self, removing the human from the decision making process aside from choosing directions (although we can see smart GPS cars taking care of that too). With 70% of accidents down to human error, removing the human element may well result in a reduction or complete removal of car Vs car accidents and in turn prevent any subsequent whiplash injuries.