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Smart bumpers: Carmakers roll out features to prevent accidents

At this year’s L.A. Auto Show, carmakers are highlighting safety features that focus on preventing accidents rather than merely surviving them.

Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of Edmunds Inc., said the additional features were needed to act on the safety warnings when a driver fails to do so.

“I think they are too easy to ignore,” he said. “If your car has a whole series of these different lights flashing and buzzers, it is too much to process in a panic moment.”

Infiniti presented one solution with its Infiniti JX, unveiled last week at the auto show. The JX boasts the world’s first back-up collision intervention technology: Like existing back-up sensors, the system beeps if it detects potential obstacles while the vehicle is in reverse. But now, if the driver does not respond, the system automatically puts on the brakes to prevent a collision.

“We initiated this technology in the industry,” said Kyle Bazemore, senior manager of Infiniti product communications. He said Infiniti also pioneered other proactive safety systems.

“We were the first to have lane-departure prevention — if you’re drifting out of your lane, it’ll automatically nudge you back in,” he said. “Also blind-spot intervention — if you move with something in your blind spot it also nudges you back.”

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