Live from CES 2016: Road safety

With so many accidents and fatalities every year, road safety is not something that anyone takes lightly these days, and the technology industry is definitely waking up to this in a big way, if what we’re seeing at this year’s CES is anything to go by.

Some of the biggest car manufacturers are making large investments in this space, creating new technology that not only improves the usability of their vehicles, but also helps to improve safety in the process. BMW has, for example, released a new concept car, the i8, whose rear-view and side-view mirrors are replaced by three cameras and a special screen to show drivers what's behind and to the side of their cars. As such, the issue of blind spots and the danger of overtaking are eliminated for motorists.

We’re also seeing the rise of other, smaller technology companies making exciting new products to help with safety in a way that is more accessible to your average consumer.

One exhibitor that particularly caught our eye among a sea of others today was Babali. They are creating a series of smart helmets designed to keep cyclists safe on the road. Their cheapest range – priced at $99 - includes illuminated rear indicators, a feature that the company claims will become increasingly important for cyclists with the rise of the quieter electric cars.

The pricier model – set to cost around $500, but currently still a prototype – works with Google glass (which we all thought had disappeared from our lives forever!) at the front of the helmet, which acts as a visor connected to a camera at the back of the helmet, keeping cyclists aware of what is behind them, without having to turn around. Eventually they also hope to embed GPS navigation systems into a future model, which will work alongside the Google Glass visor to help with navigation.

These, and many more, will be helping keep us safe on the roads in 2016, and it’s great to see the potential technology has to save lives as it continues to advance and develop in this field.

Laura Cholwill

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search