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Now cars that apply their own brakes

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has cruise control that automatically readjusts back to the original speed.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2005 11:34 IST

Clinching your seat belt and closing your sun roof after detecting what you're about to collide with and applying your brakes to prepare for a crash in case it can't be avoided - these are what some cars lined up for the immediate future are going to do for you.

The trend of using radar to detect and warn drivers of hazards has been evident for a few years. It began, as usual, with the most expensive luxury cars. But the shift towards crash-avoidance features will accelerate in coming months, the USA Today reported.

About 90 per centof crashes are caused by driver error. However, the latest technologies allow the driver to detect the dangers on the road better and faster, it said.

If drivers of the 2006 Acura RL are about to crash, the brakes will automatically be applied to help avert the collision.

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which goes on sale early next year, has cruise control that automatically readjusts back to the original speed, even in stop-and-go traffic.

The car also has an advanced version of so-called pre-crash sensing in addition to adjusting your seat and closing the sunroof when a crash seems imminent.

Even though these cars seem to have safety minds of their own, they don't really take over the driving, which is often a worry among auto enthusiasts.

That concern is "part of the reason these systems are being introduced slowly and very deliberately," says Tom Baloga, BMW's general manager of safety engineering. "It's really important that people don't get the feeling that the car is being taken over by a computer."

First Published: Oct 05, 2005 11:34 IST