Whether or not you’re currently in the market for a new vehicle, you have no doubt heard about the new anti-collision technology (ACT) that manufacturers are including in many of their latest models. Sometimes called crash-avoidance technologies, according to multiple manufacturers, ACT systems are supposed to greatly decrease your chances of having an accident while driving in a number of different conditions and scenarios. But do they really work? Let’s explore this new technology a bit more thoroughly to get a better idea of how they work and whether or not they are an efficient and effective means to prevent or avoid collisions.
What Exactly Is ACT?
ACT systems encompass all technologies and features included in a vehicle to help the driver avoid a collision or at least to mitigate the effects of a crash, should it occur. These technologies began with back-up cameras and related features, but today, they can do more than just warn the driver about an impending collision; in some cases, they can actually take action to prevent it.
For example, some ACT systems, when they detect the likelihood of a collision, will automatically steer the vehicle out of harm’s way or apply the brakes before the driver has time to react. Some systems will also increase braking power or adjust the timing and effect of the vehicle’s steering response to help assist the driver as they react to the situation.
How Effective Are ACT Systems?
Recently, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) conducted a study on anti-collision technologies and found that many ACT systems are highly effective at preventing collisions. However, the study did find that not all ACT systems are equally effective.
What makes ACT systems fail? Many of the systems that the NHTSA tested did not have the proper sensors to detect a collision at any point on the vehicle. Others did not have the proper range to warn drivers in time to do anything about an accident. In fact, some of these systems were found to be dangerous distractions, as they would beep or otherwise call the driver’s attention away from the road, thereby potentially causing accidents instead of preventing them.
Effective ACT systems, on the other hand, will do a number of things that can significantly decrease the chances of a collision occurring, including:
- Scanning for dangerous situations 20 times or more per second.
- Scanning at a range of 450+ feet away from the vehicle.
- Scanning around the entire vehicle (not just front and back).
- Scan for and correct against lane drift.
- Provide alarms that alert the driver instead of distracting them.
ACT systems that meet these specifications are far more likely to help keep drivers safe on the road in all kinds of situations and conditions.
Aftermarket ACT Systems
While many manufacturers are installing ACT systems and features in their newer models, you are probably wondering what you can do to increase your safety without the expense of buying a whole new vehicle. There are actually aftermarket ACT systems available that can be installed in existing vehicles at affordable prices.
Before you choose the cheapest ACT system for your vehicle, though, consider the points we mentioned above. Whether you are buying an aftermarket system or you are in the market for a new vehicle with ACT features, you will want to get one that has features and technologies that will effectively work to keep you safe. Consider the NHTSA’s findings as you shop around for the right ACT system for your vehicle.