Blind Spot Monitoring
I will be the first to admit that this is one of my “Achilles heels”. Thus, when it comes to a near accident situation. As a result, so far I have manged to avoid an accident.Especially, at the last minute? Hence. I am sure that we have all been there at some time or the other. We all know the feeling. Of course we are driving along and looking to do a taking over manoeuvre up ahead. As expected, we check the mirror, indicate and then start to overtake.
Only to be alarmed by a loud horn blast.Of course there was a vehicle in your blind spot. This is the area of your mirror that looks clear. Of course this is also your “blind spot”. So when a car is overtaking you, then you cannot see it. This must cause thousands of accidents a year. Luckily, I have been quick enough to escape an accident myself. For this reason, when I am coming up to do an overtaking manoeuvre, then I try to double check the traffic. Hence, that are coming up behind me.
As far as I know, then car manufacturers have been trying to combat this problem for a few years now. As we all know, Volvo are one of the leaders in car safety. Consequently, Volvo were one of the first to come up with a system to monitor the blind spot area. Volvo’s first attempt, was to mount digital cameras beneath the wing mirrors. This camera could take 25 frames a second. Thus, calculating the changes between frames.
This system was fine in good weather. However, snow and heavy rain made the cameras smudgy and did not work very well. This led the car makers to develop radar systems. Radar beams operate from the rear quarter panels. Hence, this detects any other vehicle as it starts to overtake. Thus, then warning the driver. Other systems are now being developed. In my opinion this will be a great invention and I can’t wait for them to be rolled out on every vehicle. As a result. this would save many accidents.
For more information, please read this excellent article from the great CarsGuide.
Some cars also add annoying little warning chimes, to go with the flashing lights in the wing mirror.