New vehicle technology is increasing automobile driver visibility and giving parents options to set limits on their teenager's driving habits. Rear-mounted radar, automatic high beam control and parental control settings are advancing vehicle performance and owner control.
Sensors and cameras aid driver visibility while backing up. Alarm systems give notifications of approaching vehicles or objects nearing a collision while the vehicle is in reverse. Chrysler’s Cross Path Detection System is available in its new minivans. Ford’s Cross Traffic Alert system is available in the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan.
Lexus and Mercedes-Benz offer systems that adjust the high beams in response to oncoming traffic. A camera mounted on the rear-view mirror detects not only cars approaching in the opposite direction, but also proximity to preceding vehicles. It then adjusts the brightness of the high beams accordingly.
Parental controls available with the 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid allow parents to program limits on speed and sound volume for younger drivers. With Ford's MyKey system, maximum speeds can be capped at 65, 70, 75, and 80 mph. There are also settings that will mute the sound on the audio system until seat belts are fastened, sound chirps when maximum speeds are approached and give earlier warnings when fuel runs low.