Goldfinger Injury Lawyers had the privilege of attending an advance sneak peak at the upcoming Canadian International Auto Show 2019 from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In case you’re interested in attending, the show is being held from February 15-24, 2019 and features some of the largest collections of production and concept vehicles under one roof in Canada.
One of the things we keep an eye on at each show are the auto manufacturer’s commitments to vehicle and pedestrian safety; along with any innovations which really jumped out at us.
Here are some of the highlights from our trip to the show:
- Subaru Wins Safety Again! When it comes to collision avoidance systems, Subaru in our humble opinion has the best system out there. A collision avoidance system, also known as a pre crash system, forward collision warning system, or collision mitigating system, is an automobile safety system designed to prevent or reduce the severity of a collision. It uses radar and sometimes laser and camera (employing image recognition) to detect an imminent crash. GPS sensors can detect fixed dangers such as approaching stop signs through a location database. If/when a collision is pending, the system will warn the driver with a large beep, lightOnce an impending collision is detected, these systems provide a warning to the driver. When the collision becomes imminent, they take action autonomously without any driver input (by braking or steering or both). Collision avoidance by braking is appropriate at low vehicle speeds (e.g. below 50 km/h (31 mph)), while collision avoidance by steering may be more appropriate at higher vehicle speeds if lanes are clear. Cars with collision avoidance may also be equipped with adaptive cruise control, using the same forward-looking sensors.These systems are particularly useful for preventing front end crashes. Subaru’s EyeSight system is one of the oldest and most decorated on the market. It comes available on most of their vehicles and does a fantastic job. If we are taking about road safety, and preventing vehicle collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists, we can’t think of another collision avoidance system on the market which operates so well and is so accessible along its line of vehicles. Great stuff when it comes to safety (as always) from Subaru
- Self Driving Vehicles not as close a you think: There is a lot of buzz in the industry about self driving or autonomous motor vehicles. How these vehicles would work is that the driver inputs their desired destination in to a GPS system, and the car, using all sorts of fancy navigational tools and data drives itself to that destination. Because the vehicle is navigating using GPS, satellites, radar, lasers etc. the idea is that the vehicle have a lower probability of accident because you’re negating the element of human error. There is no risk of speeding, erratic driving, distracted driving, drunk driving or missing a turn. This all sounds amazing in theory. But, in speaking with some executives who shall remain nameless and industry insiders this technology still has a long way to go until its accessible to the masses at a reasonable price point and until the public will trust it to work. Once we have smart infrastructure in place ie: the traffic signals, roads, rail crossings, school crossings etc. are all digitally connected; then a self driving system will still have a large disclaimer that the human driver is ultimately responsible for the use, operation and manoeuvring of their motor vehicle. Instilling that trust to a computer is still a huge leap which may seem like it’s here today , but it’s still in a long beta testing cycle. Releasing mass beta testing production models to the public is too big a safety risk and liability risk for the large auto manufacturers to manage. Or perhaps we are wrong and in the next few years we will see hundreds of thousands of driverless cars on the road which are getting in to thousands of accidents because they were released in mass too early without enough testing being done or without proper tech infrastructure in place to handle driverless vehicles.
- Alternative Fuel Sources: It seems like every car manufacturer is catching up, to some degree, with Tesla when it comes to electric motor vehicles, or vehicles which aren’t dependant on gasoline. Toyota launched a fuel cell hydrogen car which was very interesting. But its not just traditional sedans which are getting the power boost. The big launch for Ford at CIAS 2019 was the introduction of a Hybrid version of the Ford Explorer, which is a large SUV. Chrysler has a plug in electric minivan which is the first plug in electric minivan to hit the market. The Pacifica was released last year. BMW has an all electric sports car/roadster, and Volvo has a $100,00+ luxury SUV in the XC-90 when all of the bells and whistles are added. Would you spend $100,000+ on a Volvo? It’s a beautiful (and safe) vehicle, but that’s quite the price tag when everything’s added.
One final observation when it comes to alternative fuels. One of the major gripes for plug in electric vehicle owners is the lack of public charging infrastructure available. Outside of your home, there aren’t that many places you can go to charge your vehicle, particularly in remote/rural areas. That may all change. Petro Canada is committed to serving this emerging sector of the market. They will be launching electric charging stations at their traditional gas stations in the near future. They currently have a stop in Milton, ON. Those stations will be able to charge both 100kw and 200kw types of vehicles. The cost of the charges has yet to be determined. The length of time to fully charge a vehicle will vary depending on the vehicle’s capacity. The weather may also play a factor in how fast, or slow it will take to get a full charge. Often colder temperatures slow down the battery. In any event, having this commitment by Petro Canada to helping Canadians charge up at their stations is a game changer, and is a sign of the times when it comes to evolutions in automobiles and infrastructure to support our vehicles.
Did any cars really catch our eyes at this years’ show? Not really. Special mention to the new Hyundai Palisade which looked like a great entry in to the market; along with the Lincoln Aviator (welcome back, what took you so long!). The VW Convertible Beetle Wolfsburg Edition was also great value for a cute little car. Until next year! Thanks again for having us!