Cars of the not-so-distant future will be a lot safer with built-in radar systems and "black boxes" - but will these systems rob drivers of their privacy?

Cars of the not-so-distant future will be a lot safer with built-in radar systems and "black boxes" - but will these systems rob drivers of their privacy?

Within five years cars will have built-in radar that can sense other vehicles, children or pets in the blind spots behind the car. Other technology in development will make cars harder to steer towards obstacles on either side.

Currently, "black box" systems are being introduced in some European cars to record what the car and its driver do in the moments leading up to a crash.

One commentator has described this as being Orwellian since, if you owned a car equipped with this system and were involved in a smash, you would have to release the information to your insurance company or risk it not paying.

On the cards too is short-range radar in the back and sides of the car. At a later stage, long-range radar could be built into the front of the car to warn about, and even avoid, crashes.

The "blind spot" radar is possibly the most urgently needed because small children standing behind a vehicle are not always visible to the driver. In prototype models, a screen was used to project what was behind the car, although it could also be shown on the rear-view mirror.

The extra cost of these devices could be about R2 500, making them feasible for car manufacturers to install, and they are expected to be widely used within the next two years.

Though some cars are already fitted with ultrasonic sensors in the back bumper they cannot distinguish the height and size of objects.

Original article from Car