Revolutionary Safety Systems Remain Out of Many Consumers' Price Range

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A new article reviews the many types of safety systems that can be found on all sorts of higher end vehicles.  However, some wonder about the efficacy of such technologies when their high price point discourages all but the wealthiest of consumers from purchasing the vehicles equipped with the systems.

For instance, one can buy a Lexus that includes a radar and high definition cameras that may be used to help a driver identify upcoming obstacles.  The system can then react before the driver does by pressing the brakes or making the steering more responsive.  But this system comes with a price:  $6,500, and the vehicle itself will run a consumer about $70,000.

The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board worries that safety technologies will become the purview of our nation’s richest citizens, a concern somewhat refuted by a Toyota representative who says that the development process is a costly proposition.  Over time, he says the technology will become cheaper.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently looking into a rule that would require crash avoidance technology on all new vehicles, but the Administrator of the agency says they need to study the data to determine how valuable such systems truly are.  Until that time, one can expect things like the Lexus system, Honda’s Lane Watch technology, and GM’s centers airbags to only be found on higher end vehicles.