Current Traction Control Systems or Electronic Stability Program systems have very much improved a car’s safety over the years, but can still not help if the car is entering a corner way too fast. This is even more of an issue where poor weather conditions are also present.
This system would be very similar to a traditional TCS/ESP system, but with additional data coming from the car’s GPS/SatNav system, and also further data from other commonly fitted sensors such as outside temperature sensors, tyre pressure sensors, active suspension sensors, and also rain sensors.
The system would first use the GPS/SatNav system to determine the severity of the approaching bend and/or bends, and calculate what the maximum safe speed would be in normal conditions and within the road’s speed limit.
The system would then take further information such as tyre pressures, whether it was raining or not, suspension data, and also outside temperature information to calculate what the final safe speed would be and apply it.
Additionally, if the area was flagged as a “Black Spot” by the GPS/SatNav system an additional reduction in speed could be applied.
If the driver was approaching a bend too quickly, which can easily happen on an unfamiliar road in poor driving conditions, the system would apply the brakes and ensure that the car was not entering at a speed that was unsafe.
Also if the bend sharpened half way through (double-apex), or another bend was immediately after the first, then these factors would be known beforehand and taken into account by the system.
The final thing that this system would incorporate would be a system where the AESP could only be turned off via a separate key, similar to the system used to turn off an airbag. This would be helpful for parents who let their children drive their cars, and also benefit people who loan out their cars, or for company vehicles.
This system would be very easy to implement into a car, truck, or van at very little cost, as most of the sensors and components are already fitted to the vast majority of new vehicles as standard.
Here in the UK 15.9% of the fatal road accidents that occurred in 2011 were due to entering a bend too quickly, even when within the speed limit, and in following years these figures are very similar. This system could have prevented these tragic events, saving many lives and also preventing the many more incidents that resulted in injuries ranging from minor to life changing.