Safer cars coming in the near future

New cars to focus more on Bluetooth than horsepower

By Lauren Freeman - Anchor

HOUSTON - Matthew Syzdek is like many new drivers on the road: he's got a story to tell about a car accident.

"A kid that went to my school backed into my friend because he was busy talking to a friend pulling out of the lot," Syzdek said.

But, unlike the older generation's first cars, this generation will be driving some of the safest cars in history.

"I would say definitely the millennial are paying attention to this kind of stuff," said RoShelle Salinas, with the Houston Auto Dealers Association.

"They are interested in the technology and all of these technological aspects for a vehicle owner to have," Salinas said.

Forget about make, model and color, millennial care more about Bluetooth than horsepower.

"(They have) backup camera, blind spot detection, also cars that can take collisions well," Syzdek said.

But, they don't have the money to spend on upgrades. Fortunately for this generation, more and more of these features are included.

"The Forester is much more of a millennial vehicle, it's very rugged," Salinas said.

The Subaru Forester will sound an alert and give the driver a visual warning when it senses danger of a collision. It will even apply the brakes automatically if you don't. And it also warns when the driver is swaying outside their lane.

The Forester starts at $22,500.

"The QX-60 is much more of a family vehicle," Salinas said.

It starts at $42,500.

"It's got seven seats in it," Salinas said. "It's got all of your safety features, from 360 surround view on the cameras to your cruise control accelerator and distance control, so you've got a sturdy family car there."

Another big safety feature -- a backup camera. By 2018, it will be required in all new smaller vehicles, but many automakers are getting ahead of the curve. Acura, Buick, Honda, and Infiniti models all currently have backup cameras as standard features.

"The consumer is definitely demanding safety," said Salinas. "They want to be safe on the road today when they're driving."

So what other new features can we expect to see in the future?

"Ford is considering putting inflatable seat belts in their vehicles," Salinas said. "On the Genesis, it has a CO2 sensor in it, and it's automatically going to circulate the air and give you fresh air in your vehicle, when you've reached .2 percent CO2 within the car."

That way, if you're sitting on a Bluetooth conference call, pull into your garage, you don't have to disconnect.

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