As I drove towards a parked “car” with my foot nowhere near the brake, I marvelled again at the amazing safety features available in so many of our new cars.
As I came within two metres of the “car”, the brakes were automatically applied and my vehicle came to stop without any input from me — and without any whiplash caused by the emergency halt.
And no this was not a daydream while I was searching for a space in my local supermarket carpark. Instead I was at the Subaru Levorg media launch at Cromwell’s Highlands Park track.
The Levorg has EyeSight, a camera monitoring system that scans the road ahead and alerts you to any obstacles ahead, or in the case above, stops the car for you. But as I drove away from the parked “car” — actually a cardboard cut-out — I told the sport and performance driver training instructor, Tim Martin from Downforce, that with so many new vehicles with autonomous braking, I actually appreciate it when I get to drive test a car that doesn’t have such safety features.
These emergency braking systems have filtered down from the likes of luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz to more affordable manufacturers such as Subaru, Ford and Mazda.
And just as ABS is now standard, you’ll find the next generation of most vehicles will have this emergency braking system.
But remember, just because your vehicle has this safety device, doesn’t mean as a driver you should be lackadaisical.
So, put down your phone when driving, and keep your eyes on the road.