Entry level vehicles getting reverse cameras and AEB

While there are a lot of new and exciting safety systems being introduced in vehicles at the moment, from autonomous emergency braking, to blind spot monitoring and not long from now, full automated driving on motorways and in traffic jams, one problem often arises for the average consumer: they’re all big, expensive, optional extras. If not, they come part and parcel with some of the world’s most expensive cars, far beyond anything the average person can expect to afford. But that may not be the case for long, as some believe that automated safety features will be hitting entry level vehicles in the next few years.

This is all according to Tom Appel, publisher of the Consumer Guide Automotive (via Chicago Suntimes), who said that affordable vehicles will soon be benefiting from these sorts of technologies, as well as reverse cameras and warning sensors, which have also traditionally been reserved for more expensive vehicles.

“If you’ve never had [a rearview camera], it doesn’t make a difference, but when you have them, they’re wonderful. They’re a wonderful thing to have,” Appel said, talking up some of the features that will come part and parcel with all new cars before long.

Mazda's i-ACTIVSENSE is a pretty comprehensive suite of safety features

Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE is a pretty comprehensive suite of safety features

Some specific car makers that are bringing advanced automotive features to their vehicles are Subaru and Mazda, both of which are adding rear-facing cameras to their entry level models. In the new 2016 Mazdas too, we can expect the company’s i-Activesense safety system, which bundles several safety orientated technologies together under one umbrella. It includes the use of radar, for blind spot monitoring, infrared lasers for lane departure warnings and cameras to detect when other motorists are coming, letting the car automatically adjust headlights between full beam and dipped. That prevents you dazzling other motorists and saves you having to constantly switch between the two modes yourself.

New Subaru vehicles are also getting a look in with the new safety features, especially the new version of the EyeSight driver assist system, which can provide automated braking functions in the event of a potential collision, but beyond that can warn the driver about all sorts of potential hazards thanks to its bank of cameras mounted above the front-windscreen.

Chevrolet vehicles will also be getting a safety boost, with the inclusion of new lane-departure warnings, blind spot monitoring systems, automated braking and forward collision alerts that should go some way to helping drivers avoid getting into accidents.

Of course all of these technologies have their draw backs, with some not working in icy or muddy conditions, while others only work up to a certain speed that everyone exceeds when outside of a major city. However they are a major first step into bringing automated features to everyone’s cars and the best part is that they’re doing it in more entry level models and making them standard, rather than putting them behind an options only paywall.

    Jon Martindale

    Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.

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