You may think of a van as a simple tool; it’s a hulking beast that can haul like a buffalo and get you to where you need to go… or at least, that’s what it used to be. Our vans feel more like diesel-powered mansions on wheels. After you get a load of the gadgets packed into these modern day vans, you’ll be convinced that we’re on our way into the future!
First, assisted parking, then we’ll get fusion powered flight pulled right out of Blade Runner. Let us take you on a tour through the guts of the most technologically advanced vans that you can buy today.
Depending on your opinion of back-seat-drivers, you may not like this one. Using a combination of different components this system constantly monitors the road, searching for road signs. This involves the front-facing camera used with some image-processing programs. As you drive, your van will automatically detect any speed sign you happen to pass, before displaying it clearly on your dashboard. Though it’s mainly used for speed signs, the sensors can actually detect many standard signs. It can recognize “children” or “turn ahead” signposts, giving you the information you need to be a great driver.
Active Braking: will it save your life?
The engineers of the world are solving all our problems, yet again. Active Braking is a new technology that allows your van to spot a pedestrian, apply the brakes, and save someone’s life before you could even begin to react. It’s incredibly complex, using a mixture of radar and motion sensors at up to 50mph! Pre-braking assist serves a similar function but in a much less dramatic way: while you drive, it keeps an eye on your surroundings… if a car is too close for comfort, pre-braking will slow you down. Think of it as whiplash prevention! While completely automated vans are still in the works, this automatic integration is a nice big step towards making the roads safer. Plus, these pictures with vans firing lasers out of the bonnet look very cool.
“Do you need to rest, Sir?”
Well, we’ve done it. We’re living in an Orwellian nightmare and my van is telling me to have a latte. “Drowsiness Detection” or “Fatigue Detection” is a feature currently being implemented into a number of different vehicles, so cars and vans alike can tell us how disappointed they are with us. To do this, your van watches you very closely. Whether it’s a slight nudge of the gear stick or just a shocking parallel parking job, the vehicle will use all of this data to get an idea of how you drive regularly… so, when that night out finally catches up with you, the dashboard will have no problem telling you that your performance is lacking today.
Thanks, Transit; I don’t hear that quite enough.