The good thing about cars is you can usually hang onto them for years and years before they finally give out on you. But, if it’s been years and years since you’ve gone car shopping, you might have a surprise or 10 waiting for you — tech has changed cars a lot! While we wait on seeing how autonomous driving will turn out, there are tons of other new tech features that have been introduced to help us humans drivers stay safer on the road. Here’s a primer on a handful of them — and keep in mind, while some are standard on many cars, most of them you’ll have to get as options!
Most new car safety technologies address a basic problem with human drivers — we only have two eyes and two ears. That makes it hard to keep track of the road ahead and the road behind, especially when it comes time to change lanes suddenly on the freeway because Google didn’t tell you about your exit soon enough. Now that many cars can be equipped with cameras and sonar all around the vehicle, it’s possible for those cars to detect objects in either blind spot, usually turning on a light in the side view mirror when there’s something present or beeping if you start to change lanes when there’s someone in your blind spot.