New Car Technologies Make Driving Safer

Heads up displays help you see in the darkHeads up displays help you see in the dark

Most people only buy a car once every 5 to 10 years. But in the past couple of years, technology has changed the way cars behave dramatically. So much so that if you haven't bought a car recently, you may be amazed at some of the innovations that have been introduced in the car industry. Here are a few examples of things that you can now find in your own personal vehicle, and what you can expect for the near future, all of which helps make driving easier and safer.

The image above shows a new type of heads up display that was introduced by BMW called dynamic spotlight.  A sensor at the front of the car can detect pedestrians even in complete darkness. The front lights then adjust to illuminate them, and a screen inside the car gives you a warning of the upcoming danger.

Last year, Lexus released a video showing a new feature available in some of its 2013 cars called the blind spot indicator. A side sensor keeps track of which vehicle is in the driver's blind spot, and shows a warning in the side view mirror.

Consumer Reports did a study of another safety feature, this time introduced by Ford, called inflatable seat belts. Instead of normal seat belts, these are inflatable, so that if you get into an accident, they will deploy and help stop any forward momentum.

Finally, there's yet another automotive innovation that is on many people's mind lately, although it isn't quite ready for you to buy. Google has been spending a lot of time working on self-driving cars. Right now, these cars are still in testing, but already several US states have passed legislations allowing them on the road. Simply watching them drive around is amazing to see, and within just a few years, we may start seeing these features appear on vehicles we can buy for ourselves.