Blind-spots have always been an issue, especially if you drive a larger SUV or truck. The problem is worse when driving at night or if you have your vehicle’s windows tinted. That is until now.
Blind-spot detectors were actually introduced at the SEMA show about 10 years ago, along with many other gadgets and gizmos that now come standard on newer vehicles, such as back-up cameras, back-up sensors, and parking assist systems. Back then, people saw them as interesting, yet expensive, toys for the aftermarket. However, as government safety standards for automobiles constantly change, so too is the demand for these kinds of technologies.
Later this year, the first aftermarket blind spot detector will be coming on the market from Steelmate USA. The company has already found success with their backup camera systems, but they now plan on offering a blind spot detector for less than $399 in either August or September of 2012. The system alerts drivers to a car in the next lane if they try to change lanes.
Retailers have been interested in blind spot detectors for a while, but the aftermarket has yet to provide a standalone product. Steelmate’s unit links to the car’s OBD II port, which is a direct link to the car’s “brain”. The computer knows when the steering wheel is turned, so if the driver turns the wheel more than 5 degrees in either direction, the system would activate left and right cameras placed around the car, thus alerting the driver of a possible collision.
The system includes a black box with an ODB II interface. It accepts up to 4 cameras, so it can be tailored to fit each specific vehicle. For safety reasons, professional installation is required, said Steelmate’s John Lombard.
A survey last year found that the amount of money drivers will spend on blind-spot detection systems will increase by more than a factor of 20 over the next four years. These systems are not for the high-end luxury cars anymore as car manufacturers, including Ford, begin installing them on more budget-friendly cars. Sales of these systems is expected to increase from around $570 million in 2011 to $12 billion by 2016.
At Quality Auto Trim in Spokane Valley, we have been watching these trends grow over the last few years, and you can be assured that we will be offering these systems to our customers as they become available. Contact us today for more information about this revolutionary new product, 509-927-8464!