car technology

Safety Technology Popping Up In More Vehicles

New Toyota vehicles have features that include steering assistance and dynamic cruise control

Adam Lovelady specializes in technology at Toyota's North American Headquarters in Plano. He says the company has made a number of active safety systems standard on almost every car it builds. He showed us steering assistance.

"If we started to drift out of our lane, you can see the alert, you hear it and this vehicle has steering assist, so it will actually also push on the steering wheel to get us back into the lane," Lovelady said.

There's also dynamic cruise control.

"If somebody cuts in front of you or you come up on slower traffic, the car is going to respond to maintain that same distance," Lovelady said.

We saw it first hand the day we drove with him. Cruise control was set and while driving we came across an accident. The car slowed itself down and then came to a complete stop on I-635.

Many cars have pedestrian protection as well.

"It could pick up a bicyclist if needed, automatically apply the brakes to avoid the collision," Lovelady said.

While the technology may be cool now, it's all improving and will eventually bring us closer to self-driving vehicles.

"I've got little kids and I assume one day these technologies in the hands of teenager would be priceless to me as a father," he said.

You can find similar versions of this technology from many automakers, and many newer-model cars have it. Your dealer can help you figure out how they work and there are several instructional videos on YouTube as well.

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