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Deaths caused by car accidents could become a thing of the past.
With the abundance of safety features available in modern cars, it could be confusing as to what’s available on each car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has launched a new section on its website that helps simplify car shopping.
With how advanced technology has come in just the last few years, consumers are paying more attention to safety features than what a vehicle’s infotainment system has to offer.
The all-new Cadillac XTS will start production this spring and when it finally hits dealerships, it will be the industry’s first car to feature directional tactile sensation to warn drivers of potential crash threats.
While the “directional tactile sensation” name might sound fancy, in laymen’s terms it’s simply vibrations of the driver’s seat bottom. That’s right, if you’re in danger of crashing your new XTS luxury sedan, the seat will buzz your bum. The vibrating pulse patterns will emit from the lower bolster of the seat, and will be directional (left or right) depending on where the potential threat is emanating. If the potential crash is in the front or rear of the vehicle, the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat will kick in on both sides of the seat.
Cadillac’s announcement to use haptic feedback in the seat comes coincidentally after we reported AT&T Labs researching the use of vibrations in the steering wheel to help make in-car navigation less distracting.
“It’s akin to someone tapping on your shoulder in a crowd to get your attention,” said, General Motors active safety technical fellow Raymond Kiefer. “Using the tactile sense to communicate crash threat direction provides an effective and intuitive way to cut through the clutter of visual and auditory sensory information that drivers routinely experience.”
The vibrating seats will be part of the Cadillac Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages and also includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert in the Driver Awareness Package, available in spring for the launch of the XTS. The Driver Assist Package on the other hand, will be available in fall and also uses the Safety Alert Seat and features Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Collision Preparation, and Front and Rear Automatic Braking Systems.
Both packages will also be made available to the Cadillac ATS and SRX models.
Watch a couple videos of the new 2013 Cadillac XTS safety features after the break.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac XTS Safety Features
Watch for Nissan to be adding more safety features to its lower-price models starting in the near future. The automaker just announced it will introduce a host of new safety technologies leading up to 2016.
One of the key safety technologies Nissan is developing low-cost sensor-based safety systems. These will be found in inexpensive mass-market models, and offer safety perks such as lane departure, blind spot intervention, collisions prevention systems at the front and rear of the vehicle.
The less-expensive system will only use one camera (the pricey one uses a millimeter-wave radar sensors and multiple cameras). And to keep the price down, it will cut out the frills. For example, the expensive system’s automatic braking feature triggers a control function, while the less-expensive model will just warn the driver.
You’ll start to see these low-cost rear camera sensor systems in the US soon, as recent regulations mandate rear cameras in new cars made after 2015.In about a year or two, Nissan will add forward-sensing camera systems to its models. Each of the sensor systems cost about $260 to make – compare that with the $3,511 price tag for the high-end radar-based system.
Also in the works at Nissan are two other sensing technologies, which should take shape in the next two years. The first is a predictive forward-sensing system that monitors two cars ahead. This means that it keeps an eye out for not only the car in front of you, but the car in front of that one as well. The second is an accelerator-suppression system that would curb pedal misapplication (stepping on the gas instead of the brake).
Oh SUVs, why do we love thee? Let us count the ways. You’re dependable. You’re reliable. You’re always up for an adventure. You look so much cooler than a minivan, yet are able to carry just as many kids. But there are so many to choose from – where do you even start?
Not to worry – the helpful folks at Consumer Reports have put together a video on how to pick the right SUV for your lifestyle. Then you can head over to the AutoGuide New Cars section for SUVs where you can sort through our extensive list of models based on anything from starting price, to fuel economy, to what AutoGuide readers have rated the car.
Just a few of the reasons why SUVs have gained such massive popularity is due in part to their carrying capacity, high-driving position and towing capabilities. And who doesn’t like all that extra traction they provide in slippery-when-wet conditions?
But SUVs have a dark side too. They’re not as adept as regular cars and in emergency situations, they’ve been known to flip and roll, thanks to their high center of gravity. You need to weigh both the pros and the cons of this breed before you settle on the perfect one for you and your family – and that’s when this video comes in handy.
Available in a wide range of sizes and prices, smaller SUVs are the least expensive, offer better fuel economy and are more compact – although they do offer plenty of room inside. As you start to get into the mid- and large-sized models, you get more space and power, but you also get poor gas mileage and less manoeuvrability.
The video hands out some good tips for when it’s time to shop for an SUV – you should consider the type of driving you do, the weather conditions, how much power and cargo capacity you need, and how many people you will transport. Be sure that you’re not throwing away money on features and options you don’t really need and be realistic about your daily regular needs - by keeping these thing in mind, you’ll be buying an SUV that’s within your budget and meets all your needs.
Watch the video after the jump and take notes!