A suite of 19 new potentially life-saving car technologies have been unveiled in the Seat Leon Christobel concept car, with a possible introduction date from 2019.
The technology-packed five-seat hatchback is aimed at reducing deaths and accidents from speeding, distraction, drink and drug driving and poor seatbelt-compliance, especially among younger drivers.
“These are all technologies we have in development and could significantly save lives if they go in to production,“ said Stefan Illijevic, project manager for the Christobel concept.
The standard-looking exterior of the Leon conceals multiple new systems built into the electrical architecture, including two new sensing systems, but many of the features are adaptations of existing sensors or software.
And many of them can send text warnings to parents’ mobile devices – the idea being that guardians can keep an eye on children who are using the car.
Christobel’s main new sensor is an ‘eye tracker’ bar – a dashboard camera that can recognise the driver’s face and deduce moods from his or her expression.
It is integral to the alco-lock, a breathalyser linked to the ignition by Bluetooth, and which can prevent a drunk or drugged driver from starting the car.
The eye tracker is used to confirm the identity of the driver to prevent, for example, a passenger from helping to circumvent the breathalyser.
A further safety check will cut the ignition if, for example, the door is opened, which might signal that a sober passenger has helped to start the car.
Another ignition block comes through the seatbelt drive lock, which prevents starting if the belt is not worn.
Another of the 19 safety devices is a black box linked to a speed-limit-reading camera and a speed limiter. “Excessive speeding is involved in 30% of all serious accidents in Europe, just behind distraction at 36%, alcohol and drugs at 25% and 17% of not wearing a seatbelt,” says Illijevic.
To address distraction, the Christobel has a rear-view camera integrated into the rear-view mirror to eliminate blindspots.
All the safety devices can be configured through the Leon’s central touchscreen display and their functions linked to a single, steering-wheel mounted ‘Guardian Angel’ button.