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Safety devices win tick from consumer advocates
One motoring innovation detects cyclists, another acts as an extra set of eyes in the car, while a smartphone-like touchpad has also been picked as a winner in an Australasian consumer competition.
Consumer research and ratings company Canstar Blue has recognised motoring innovators for a range of new features and services available to motorists. Safety is a key aspect of many.
“We’re delighted to honour these manufacturers for some truly innovative new features and technological advances — some of which should help keep children, pedestrians and motorists safer, and even save lives,” said Canstar Blue general manager Megan Doyle.
Among the winning innovations available in New Zealand is Volvo’s IntelliSafe Pedestrian Detection.
It is a world first system that alerts drivers and brakes automatically if a bicycle swerves in front of the car.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class’s new touchpad was also a Canstar Blue award-winner, thanks to its smartphone-style use plus handwriting recognition.
Subaru’s EyeSight was also recognised.
The innovation is already installed in more than 300,000 vehicles in Japan.
EyeSight’s pre-collision braking control avoids or limits frontal impact by detecting other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, and can slow or stop the car when necessary.
The adaptive cruise control feature maintains a set distance behind the vehicle in front, and controls braking if the preceding vehicle stops, reducing driver load in situations such as peak traffic.
EyeSight, which is the world’s first system to solely use stereo camera technology, was first launched in Japan in May 2008.
Subaru New Zealand’s managing director, Wallace Dumper, said EyeSight was “like having another pair of eyes on board your car”.
“We believe it is the world’s most advanced optical safety technology and offering it on the all-new Legacy sedan, starting at only $39,990, sets another benchmark for others to aspire to.”
Canstar Blue accepted applications for features and services spanning the automotive industry that had been launched within the past 18 months.
After a shortlisting process, award-winners were chosen by Canstar Blue’s expert judging panel, including external industry specialists.
“The aim of these awards is to bring the latest and greatest innovations to the attention of consumers,” said Doyle.
“We have been hugely surprised and impressed by what we have found.”