What's New in High-Tech Car Safety Features?

October 14, 2022

Team ACV




What's New in High-Tech Car Safety Features?

ACV facts & figures

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A driver holds the steering wheel while driving a busy highway

Safety tech in cars is advancing at a rapid rate with a focus on preventing accidents from ever happening. Now, vehicles have a mile-long list of safety equipment, but what do all of these features mean and how do you describe these safety features to prospective buyers? 

We highlighted some of the most important safety features available on used vehicles right now.

6 New Must-Have Safety Features

1. Forward Collision Warning

We’ve all done it before: take our eyes off the road to look at our phone, and the road conditions change in a split second–that vehicle in front just stopped, and you need to slam the brakes. Forward collision warning (FCW)is there to help aid drivers in those situations, specifically for rear-end collisions, which tend to be one of the most common vehicle accidents. FCW  is a great feature for all drivers, but specifically for drivers that might get distracted a bit more often. Teen drivers and families with small children, in particular, would benefit from this safety feature. 

With sensors that use radar or vision systems, FCW alerts drivers of hazards ahead including cars, people, bikers, animals, and anything else that might be in front of your vehicle. A warning message and sound are played to alert you of imminent danger1.

2. Adaptive Headlights

Have you ever driven on a completely dark road at night in the middle of nowhere or perhaps a super windy, curvy road, like the Pacific Coast Highway, or even been on the road during a super foggy day with limited visibility? Standard headlights often don’t help provide enough illumination for these types of settings.

Adaptive headlights are a perfect safety feature for customers who drive long commutes, specifically at late night or early in the morning. Adaptive headlights use sensors based on the driver’s steering activity, so the lamps move to provide a better view of where you’re going. When you’re making a turn on a dark road, you’ll be more likely to see what's in front of you, instead of just lighting up the road.

A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) showed that adaptive headlights reduced property damage liability claims by 5.8%2, including a 1.1% decrease in collision claims2

3. Blind Spot Detection

Not knowing where a vehicle is when changing lanes or turning is dangerous, but it’s a common situation for drivers. Vehicles now come equipped with a blind spot monitor, which is a flashing alert that drivers can see in their door mirrors. Some get more intense when indicators are activated to warn drivers that they shouldn’t be turning at this time. Even steering and brakes are automatically activated to prevent drivers from steering into other vehicles3.

Blind spot detection works by utilizing radar or ultrasonic sensors on the car’s rear bumper. Blind spot sensors are needed on both sides and are sometimes housed in the vehicle’s mirrors4.

4. Lane Departure Warning

Nearly every driver has found themselves  distracted for a split second and veering outside their lane, potentially causing an accident. A lane departure warning system keeps an eye on the location of the vehicle within its lane. It uses cameras to detect lines while alerting drivers if they exit the lane without indicating. Alerts are usually a sound, warning message on the dashboard, or vibration in  the steering wheel or seats. Other departure warning systems take over and steer or brake to adjust the vehicle's lane position3.

5. Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is similar to the forward collision warning but takes it a step further by actually applying the brakes to prevent a collision. AEB applies similar technology including sensors and cameras to prevent potential forward collisions. 

AEB systems take over the braking systems on vehicles and are very effective in slowing the car down. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that AEB systems will prevent 28,000 crashes by 20253. These systems are not mandatory at the moment, but the technology appears on most new cars today and will undoubtedly come into play in the near future5.

6. 360-Degree Camera

Backup cameras have been around for years, and drivers appreciate the benefits these cameras have when backing into a tight parking space or driveway. Automakers are now taking camera technology even further with 360-degree cameras. By combining the view from multiple cameras into one screen, these camera systems can make parallel parking or navigating a crowded parking area much easier.

This is ideal when hitching up a caravan or trailer, parking in tight spaces, or navigating narrow roads. Car brands use different naming conventions for this type of technology, including all-around cameras, surround view systems, birds-eye view, and multi-angle view6.

Find Used Vehicles with High-Tech Safety online at ACV’s Auctions.

Your dealership can buy used vehicles with high tech safety features that your customers want. ACV Auctions has a wide variety of inventory available daily, including many used cars with the new Safety Features your customers are looking for. Register now at ACV Auctions so you can start sourcing more in-demand inventory with these safety features. 


1. J. M. Vincent, "The 40 High-Tech New Car Features You Can Buy Today," 22 Jan 2021. [Online]. Available: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/advice/high-tech-car-features?slide=2.

2. H. L. D. Institute, "Compendium of HLDI collision avoidance research," Highway Loss Data Institute, December 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.iihs.org/media/e635cc76-b9bc-4bad-a30a-5d7b78791df2/vxeQ3A/HLDI%20Research/Collisions%20avoidance%20features/37-12-compendium.pdf.

3. S. Insights, "Latest car safety features becoming must haves," Simple Insights, [Online]. Available: https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/auto-and-vehicles/latest-car-safety-features-becoming-musthaves.

4. K. SIMIYU, "10 New Safety Features Every Car Owner Should Know About," 28 Feb 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.hotcars.com/latest-car-safety-features-becoming-must-haves-on-new-car-models/.

5. GEICO, "5 Hi-Tech Safety Features To Look For In A New Car," GEICO, [Online]. Available: https://www.geico.com/living/driving/auto/car-safety-insurance/5-safety-features-that-could-soon-be-standard/.

6. J. Metz, "Top 12 High-Tech Car Safety Upgrades to Consider," Erie Insurance, 31 July 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/best-car-technology-features-2020.