Imagine a car that can help drivers avoid crashes. It's possible. In fact, there's one running around today, loaded with state-of-the-art active and passive crash avoidance technology - technology that could be in the next car you buy.
Joe Gaus, VP, Continental Automotive Systems: "We allow the vehicle to be poised for action either to help the driver avoid a crash, maintain control or in the event a crash occurs, provide maximum protection."
It may sound like futuristic technology but it is available today. Continental has put 13 advanced technologies into this car -- all talking to each other -- which allows this car to help drivers maintain control and avoid crashes.
"If we can improve society, if we can make driving safer, if we can save 1/2 of those 42,000 lives with this technology - why not do it?"
Tailgate, and the accelerator pushes up against your foot. Get taken by surprise at say more than 50 miles an hour, and the car responds. It hits the brakes. If the car senses a crash is inevitable, open windows close, seatbelts tighten and the seats adjust to the optimal position for an airbag to deploy.
The technology can't prevent all crashes. If one does occur, the conversation between technologies takes a matter of seconds and minimizes the impact.
Designers expect the price of this technology to come down to about $500 per car, by 2010.