For all such new ideas, there has been a typical route: invention, adoption and legislation. Increasingly, new auto-safety features will not be thought of as individual options and gadgets but as part of a common set of ears and eyes linked by a brain
The features are already being sold this way. Instead of picking individual gadgets, buyers will generally find it easier to choose full safety options packages.
Lexus, for instance, is emphasizing the way its safety features work as part of a common system by marketing its smart cruise control, lane-departure warning and ESC technologies into a single package.
Ford refers to its high-tech safety systems as “co-drivers”; other companies call them “assistants.” Mercedes-Benz says that in its vehicles, technology will never take control out of the hands of the human driver. The company adheres to a systematic design, always offering sight and sound warnings in sequence before computerized controls take emergency action.