Safety features on 2020 model year vehicles may be the most important features when selecting a new car. Of course, you will care about the design of the vehicle, gas mileage, and other features. But in 2020, you may find that the vehicle offering the best safety features will be your choice.
The number and quality of safety features added to our vehicles in recent years are amazing. Most of us have been told about safety features when looking for a new car for a number of years.
This year, however, the automobile companies are making safety features a primary selling point for their brand. This year’s auto shows have touted a number of new safety technologies. Some of these new features will be available in 2020 vehicles; others will follow within the next few years.
Volvo seems to be leading the pack for 2020 in using safety technology as a primary selling point. This is forcing many other auto makers to stop charging extra for comparable features on their cars. During the next few years, we will likely see a new baseline defined for safety features in all vehicles.
Top New Safety Features for 2020
We all want to keep our loved ones safe on the roadways. We also want to avoid crashes with other vehicles of every kind. These are the goals of new safety features built into new models by most auto makers.
- Lexus is making its safety system + a standard feature on all of its vehicles beginning in 2020. These are based on cameras and radar. The system is not especially new or novel but until now, some of these systems have been available only as options in higher-end models. Pre-collision alerts and braking may be one of the most desirable safety features. These systems can slow or stop the car in order to avoid crashes. Notably, the technology can stop the car to prevent hitting a pedestrian. The systems also include a warning when you begin to drift into another lane of traffic. The 2020 models will also include “intelligent” high beams that automatically switch to low beams when their sensors identify oncoming lights, and radar-based cruise control slows the vehicle automatically for traffic.
- Toyota is focusing on two safety features. First, an upgraded system introduced 17 years ago that produces a two-step alert that asks the driver to turn off the engine when it has been idling too long. The upgrade causes the engine to shut down automatically at a pre-set time interval. The warning will be audible, accompanied with a visual warning on its “Smart Key” system. The second key feature is “Automatic Park.” This will shift the transmission into park if the driver leaves the car without shifting into park. It is activated when the driver’s door is opened and the seatbelt is unbuckled. This will be phased in starting in 2020.
- General Motors is introducing a feature on several Chevrolet and GMC models. It is called “Buckle to Drive” and is designed to remind drivers to buckle up. It blocks the transmission from shifting out of park until the driver is buckled up. This is an addition to the “Teen Driver package” that allows parents to adjust settings in the car using the teen’s key fob.
- Automatic Pedestrian Detection and Evasion technology is appearing in many autos made around the world. The number of pedestrian-involved accidents has been increasing for the last few years. This technology should save lives and quality of lives.
- Automatic Emergency Braking Systems are included in a number of vehicles. Twenty or more auto manufacturers have signed an agreement to make these systems standard on most of their models by 2022.
- Volvo is including speed limit technology on all of its vehicles in 2022. The maximum speed for most vehicles will be at 112 mph. The company is also working on lower vehicle speed limits in vulnerable areas (e.g., school and hospital areas). This is part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 safety campaign designed to prevent all driving fatalities in a Volvo vehicle by 2020.
- A number of other safety features may be available on some vehicles for 2020. These include:
- Radar-based collision-mitigating warnings when you are too close to another vehicle, when you are driving too fast, or drifting out of your lane. Either the system provides auditory alerts or it “pre-charges” your brakes to give them more power when you engage the brake, or they automatically tighten your seat belts and automatically apply the brakes.
- 360 degree view. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require all “light passenger vehicles” to have rear-view camera technology by 2014. Additional cameras will use cross-path cameras (Ford, Chrysler, BMW) will deliver a 180 degree view from the back or front of your vehicle and will also alert you if another car is approaching when you are leaving a blind drive or backing up. Infiniti has “Around View” monitors that stitch together a 360-degree view.
- Some high-end models will offer pedestrian-detection, and others offer a night-vision system that detects a person wandering into your path who is beyond the reach of your headlights. At first, these systems may be available only in high-end models until the cost is reduced. BMW and Mercedes offer this on their top-of-the-line models.
- Adaptive cruise control should be available as an option on most vehicle models and as standard equipment on high-end models. This technology adapts highway speeds to maintain a safe distance from cars in front of you.
Volvo’s decision to focus on vehicle safety as a key selling point is on full display on their website (https://www.volvocars.com/us/about-volvo/human-innovation/future-of-driving/safety). The site offers hints of new technologies that will make our vehicles safer in the future. Other examples of future technologies can be found in articles about the 2019 auto shows.
The development costs of many of these systems may make them cost-prohibitive for a few years. As we watch for additional new technologies in the future, we can expect to see these systems become standard on more and more vehicles.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
At Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke VA, we applaud all efforts to make our vehicles and our highways safer. In the interim, if you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident or other vehicle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Bettina Altizer and her team have been helping people recover the compensation that enables them to move forward after a crash. If you need an auto accident attorney with a unique combination of compassion and fierce representation, trust Bettina Altizer. We understand that when recovering from tragic injuries, it’s about the money.