Far more than 20 years, hosts of technicians have been spurred on by the dream of total safety on the road. The “S class” Mercedes with its life saving balloon bags was a techno logical milestone initially reserved for the rich. Today things have changed. Even small cars now have several airbags, both for the head and the rest of the body. The reason is simple.

Human perception and precision motoricity are overtaxed by modern road traffic. The constantly increasing traffic density is not only the problem. The over sophisticated systems built into many cars can frequently and dangerously deflect our attention from what is going on around us. Sophisticated electronics designed to facilitate the tough job of driving a car helps ensure that accidents are much less likely to happen in the first place.

The F500 mind is futuristic eye catcher without a dashboard. Instead a multi vision display comes across with all the information required from traveling speed to the expected arrival time. Another innovation is the built in linguatronic device, which wants to outstrip the paltry vocabulary at the command of common or ground language recognition systems in cars. The engine of the F500 Mind prototype is the powerful but technically more conventional.

Experts believe, however that the future belongs to the fuel cell, which draws on hydrogen to produce energy for the electric drive system. There is this new “road vision” technology which works with a combination of infrared and laser light plus highly sensitive sensors that can distinguish between dry, wet, and icy asphalt. When it recognizes a potentially hazardous situation, the optimal ratio of thrust and braking power is calculated electronically to prevent the car from skidding.

Also F500 Mind with the revolution Infrared Night view system. Laser diodes in the head lights emit extremely brief light pulses that are reflected by the surrounding environment. An infrared camera on the inside of the front windscreen records the reflected images from the road and projects them onto the display.

BMW has gone a stage further. In one of its vehicles, the Bavarian based company has installed an infrared camera that can tell by the movements of the eyelids of the driver whether he is fatigued or not. It then emits warning signals. Various other solutions enhancing driving safety are already installed in vehicles actually on the road. The recent Peugeot models automatically activate the warning flashers if the driver slams on the brakes hard, while an emergency braking assistant helps in generating the necessary braking pressure.

Dozens of sensors, cameras discreetly attentive microphones, and a nine computer processors monitor analyze and calculate everything going on inside and outside the moving car. But in their zeal scientists may have forgotten one thing, human reluctance to trust a machine is at least as old as the automobile itself.

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