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Cars use top technology to enhance safety

March 11, 2011

Driving a vehicle equipped with the latest technology provides not only a comfortable ride, but also peace of mind. This especially holds true when the automobile industry uses state-of-the art technology to provide the best driver and passenger safety features on the market.

Auto accidents represent a major public health problem in many countries, and Costa Rica is no exception. That’s why the world’s top automakers compete to reach higher security standards and produce the safest auto, so that you and your family can travel fully protected.

From small feature modifications that allow auto owners to prevent child passengers from getting injured while handling car windows, to sophisticated systems that apply selective pressure on the wheels during unexpected turns, the race for innovation spurs continuous improvements.

Major advances in security and technology merge with top design and comfort in the following two models, both available at this year’s Expomóvil auto fair (see story above).

The Range Rover Sport features a revolutionary new adaptive cruise control (ACC) that uses radar technology to scan the road 10 times per second.

The ACC automatically matches the pace of the vehicle ahead, setting the Range Rover Sport behind it and maintaining a constant speed with one of four cruise-gap distances set according to the driver’s preference. The forward alert feature provides an audio and visual alarm when the distance from the vehicle in front decreases.

Another innovation included in the Range Rover Sport is advanced emergency brake assistance. This system is designed to detect possible collisions in advance, and protect the traveler by preparing the brake system for a potential emergency. The technology assists the driver as he or she brakes by applying full-force braking even if pressure on the pedal is light.

A surround camera system also helps increase safety. Five discreetly placed digital cameras relay to the driver a 360-degree view of the area immediately around the vehicle. This feature offers several options, including zoom and pan, which can be invaluable in situations such as hitching or towing a trailer.

Finally, the parking aid feature provides a rear view from the vehicle on an LCD screen. To aid maneuvering, lines representing the vehicle’s outer perimeter are superimposed on the image.

Other features on the Range Rover Sport include an electronic emergency brake to decrease the odds of brake failure, as well as seven airbags distributed strategically in the front and on passengers’ sides.

A second important contender in terms of safety at this year’s Expomóvil is the Audi A1, to be officially launched on the Costa Rican auto market March 15 during the expo. This tiny – less than 4 meters long – yet powerful car uses top technology to ensure the best passenger safety.

Targeted at young adults, the A1 has advanced electronic distribution of braking pressure, a one-of-a kind system that in milliseconds determines which side of the vehicle is heaviest and applies pressure accordingly, to prevent spinning in the event of a sudden stop.

Another part of the car’s “intelligence” package is the anti-slide feature, which provides enhanced stability on slippery roads. The engine automatically reduces power when it detects wet surfaces or gravel, thus increasing traction and preventing the wheels from spinning.

One of the A1’s best safety assets is its hill start assistance feature. This is both a mechanical and electronic system that ensures the brakes will continue holding once they’ve been pushed hard for more than a short burst, and then released. This is especially useful for steep hills.

Additionally, the A1 includes front and lateral airbags to protect drivers and passengers, as well as an anti-lock braking system, or ABS.

Both the above models provide drivers not only with a stylish and sophisticated means of transportation, but also cutting-edge technology aimed at protecting what’s really valuable: you and your family.

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