Can technology bring about the end of fender-benders? The Washington Posts says it's possible and relatively inexpensive to make cars and trucks that identify an imminent collision and automatically brake, preventing or lessening the severity of an accident. Ragunathan Rajkumar, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who is developing self-driving car technology, says that for $700 or $800 the parts can be bought to build such a system.
After markups, he estimates, consumers will pay an extra $2,000 or $3,000 for the initial cost of their vehicles. That up-front cost probably would pay off down the line through lower insurance premiums and greater safety. The impact of these technologies could be huge. Worldwide, 1.24 million people die in car crashes each year. The most common car crash in the United States is a rear-impact crash — 32.9 percent of crashes involve a vehicle plowing into the back of another. Cameras and radar can be used to identify when such a crash is imminent, warn a driver and then automatically brake if the driver fails to.