…Dirty secret—HA is not a driver. Don’t ask--it involves family weirdness and a guy named Freddy.
…So, naturally, she was fascinated by a WSJ story Sept 14, 2006, by Laura Meckler, about cars that seem to be approaching the level of driving themselves.
…Most safety measures involve pillows and belts that shield you in a crash, but now designers are being asked by the Highway Safety Administration to put in controls to prevent crashes in the first place.
…These stability control measures, Meckler writes, involve using brakes and engine power to keep a car from veering.
…Look for these in the 2009 model year, with more phased in the following three years.
…Studies show these tricks are great in preventing rollovers, which account for a third of all deaths.
…40% of vehicles, the high-end ones, have this stuff now. For others, it’s an option that costs more money.
…So what’s coming? Lane-departure warning systems, a beep or seat vibration if the car crosses the line without the turn signal on.
..Adaptive cruise control. Radar or lasers judge distance to vehicle in front and adjust your car speed.
…Automatic steering. If you slide toward the line, the car corrects.
…Vehicle to vehicle communication. Good for when one is barreling into an intersection, but both cars must have it.
…Seriously—Freddy? You weren’t curious?