[<< wikibooks] The Computer Revolution/Hardware/Smart Cars
== Smart Cars ==
Smart Cars are quickly becoming part of our everyday lives in ways that we may not even realize. We all know that cars are now equipped with a function that allows the driver to talk on the phone without actually holding a phone. A smart car is also capable of giving GPS locations and turn by turn directions to any location we desire. Both are great and can help keep the driver and the passengers safe, but these next few upcoming features take safety to another level. 
First there are self parking systems. We've all seen the exaggerated commercials with people smiling out the windows waving their hands while the car parallel parks itself. We've also thought that it was pretty cool and could imagine a time we could have used that. I've been driving for years and I still cringe at the idea of parallel parking. This smart car system will safely park your car, guarantee no dents in the car in front or behind you and definitely save you from a parking ticket if you're not far enough in or on top of the curb. 
Next Is the Lane Departure System and the Drowsiness Detection. The lane departure system alerts the driving when they begin to stray off the path of the road and the drowsiness detection system is a camera that evaluates the blinking pattern of the driver. Both systems alert the driver by a vibrating steering wheel or seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 56,000 accidents yearly that involve drowsy driving. 
Some systems use cameras to determine the surroundings and take action based on the event at hand. A blind spot detection system warns the driver when there is a vehicle in the blind spot. This obviously helps prevent fatal accidents and people honking at you because of near accidents. The Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert System will determine the distance of the car in front of you and control the speed of your car based on that. We've all had days when we are stuck in traffic on the way home from work and we look down for one second only to look back up and have to slam on the breaks because you didn't realize all cars in front of you are at a standstill. This will prevent that by using a radar system installed in the front of your car. This is the same as a Collision Warning and auto brake system.
Next we have an electronic traffic sign recognition system. This system recognizes speed limit signs, one way signs, dead end signs, etc., and give the driver a warning. Similar to a seatbelt warning. Sometimes we hate the effort of "clicking it" but we'd rather do that than hear that annoying beep that goes on every two seconds until you do. This is the same way, it will beep until your speed limit is where it should be. This system will create a love/hate relationship between all drivers. It will make drivers safer on the road because I'm sure they will most likely keep their speed down, but this means no 10 over the speed limit to make up for lost time. 
The final feature on a smart car is the keyless entry and ignition systems. This would require a biometric biometric security system to enter the car and start it. 

Information has been provided with reference to Understanding Computers textbook, 13th edition.