Many will remember when drivers were the ones who had complete control of several driving functions: steering, braking, skid and accident prevention, just to name a few. Thanks to computers, high-tech systems in the vehicle now assist with many of these. Anti-lock brakes help the driver stop while avoiding uncontrolled skids, traction control helps reduce slippage, and stability control can minimize the chances of losing control.
Backup cameras let drivers see what's directly behind them, things they could never see before. Sensors warn drivers if a vehicle is crossing in front or behind them. Even more sensors and fish-eye cameras alert drivers when they're getting too close to something. And those are just a few of the advances.
The quest for self-driving vehicles has produced features that are already making their way into today's cars, trucks, and SUV's. Electric and hybrid vehicles are introducing break-out technologies. For example, a new braking technology allows the driver to let up on the accelerator, and instead of the car coasting for a while or the driver having to apply the brakes, the vehicle will slow down using regenerative braking without the driver even touching the brake pedal. This regenerative braking system recharges the batteries. Another system helps steer the car to keep it in the center of the lane using cameras and radar to keep track of the lane markers.
Most of these technologies aim at improving safety and efficiency. Much the same as all other systems in the vehicle you currently own, it's important to maintain them so they're working properly. As you can imagine, NAPA AutoCare Centers invest heavily in training and diagnostic tools and equipment to keep your high-tech systems up to date as we all move forward to the vehicles of the future.
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