Some friends of ours recently purchased a new Toyota Highlander. It’s equipped with some nice safety technology standard including blind spot and lane departure warning, a backup camera, and automatic breaking so you don’t rear end the person in front of you if they brake unexpectedly. I believe technology like this has the potential to help people be safer drivers and avoid accidents.
Sheri’s and my 2012 Camry doesn’t have any of the technology our friend’s Highlander has. However, according to a recent Insurance Journal article, we could add technology if we decided to do so. With cars lasting an average of 11.6 years, you could potentially add this type of safety technology to your car too with a few aftermarket products. Here are a couple of items available now.
Forward Collision & Lane Departure Warning: Tech company, Mobileye, offers a forward collision and lane departure warning system which warns drivers when they stray from their lane and when a collision is up to 2.7 seconds away. The cost of the system is about $1,000 which includes installation by a Mobileye technician.
Garmin’s Dash Cam 35 has the ability to warn a driver of an impending crash up to 130 feet away if the driver is going 30 miles per hour or faster. You can buy this on Amazon for between $92 and $130 depending on which seller you choose to order from.
Blind Spot Detection: These systems notify you when someone is coming up beside you in the next lane. Goshers Blind Spot Detection system, also available on Amazon, runs $299 or less and works using sensors to monitor within 10 feet on either side of the car. Unless you understand auto electronics, this is probably not a DIY project.
Backup Camera: Yada, a Chinese company, makes a weather-proof camera with night vision which attaches to the rear of the car. It sends images to a 4.3-inch monitor via a wireless connection anytime the car is in reverse. This can be purchased at Pep Boys for about $129. If you don’t like the idea of a monitor, Auto Vox makes a system that displays the image in the rear-view mirror. It’s available on Amazon for about $139.
Emergency Assistance: If you want something like General Motor’s OnStar system, but don’t own a GM vehicle, Verizon has something you may be interested in called Hum. It will call emergency services automatically if you’re in an accident, will send messages to your phone if there’s a mechanical problem, and offers a button drivers can push if they need roadside assistance. Hum is offered on a subscription basis for a cost of $10 a month plus a one-time $50 set up and activation fee.
At this point, I’m not aware of any car insurance company offering a discount on your car insurance if you decide to install one or more of these tech helpers, but I do think it’s inevitable. Are you interested in installing any of this on your vehicle? Share your thoughts and questions with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!