More and more luxury cars are offering this critical technology. A combination of laser, radar, and visual cameras scan the road hundreds of feet ahead, looking out for slowing vehicles, fences, walls, people, and soon, animals. If the system detects the driver isn’t stopping in time, it will jam on the brakes with full force, either reducing the collision speed or eliminating a crash altogether. In Europe, economy cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen up! offer this feature as a low-cost option, but automakers have yet to introduce it on cars costing less than $40,000 in the U.S.
Pictured: Inside a Volkswagen up!