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Car tech to keep you and your car safe in 2016

Car tech to keep you and your car safe in 2016
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

As this video shows, one thing was abundantly clear at this month's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: You will soon be driving a smart car. We're not talking about everyday "smart" stuff, like getting driving directions or listening to streaming music. Soon, you'll be connecting to the Internet, controlling your car with your smartphone and even having your car take over the driving if you're in danger.

In fact, your car will be a hub of connectivity where many of its gadgets will make driving safer than it's ever been. We're going to look at five current and upcoming car-tech gadgets that stand out for putting your safety front and center. Are you ready for a peek into your ride of the very near future?

1. Head-up display (HUD)

If the thought of having a computer screen on your dashboard, or even on your windshield, sounds dangerous, connected cars' head-up displays are designed to do just the opposite - keep you safe. If you think about all the distractions you have when you're driving, you'll get the idea.

How many times have you reached for a radio dial or a drink, only to look up and narrowly escape hitting a car? Or, have you ever fumbled with a map, or a map app, while driving?

Everyone has. Distracted driving leads to thousands of deadly car accidents each year, according to government statistics. Many of these accidents are caused by drivers texting, talking on the phone, reading maps, or fiddling with navigation systems.

HUDs, like Visteon's Large Field-of-View Head-Up Display, have large images, with voice- and touch-screen-controlled displays that are bright, easy to read, provide directions, and much more. The Visteon HUD's colors and brightness are designed so you can see the display if it's cloudy or sunny, or dark.

It also warns you if you need to adjust your speed due to bad road conditions. And, just speak to change your music and answer phone calls.

Visteon's HUD isn't the only new one to be rolled out at CES. Carloudy, which is raising money on Kickstarter, displayed a similar windshield HUD. (See video below.)

Several car makers did, too, including BMW. The car company, the first to offer HUDs as an optional feature in its cars, rolled out a HUD for motorcycles. In its HUD helmet, riders can see their speed and get directions, so they don't have to take their eyes off the road.

Next page: Always-on in-car cameras
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