With a keen eye on increasing road safety, SEAT have unveiled the SEAT Leon Cristobal – a car that aims to significantly reduce the number of accidents on the road through the use of over 20 new safety features.
Showcased for the first time at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona, the SEAT Leon Cristobal is a comprehensive demonstration of how SEAT and the wider Volkswagen Group believe that they can make the world’s roads safer. Unlike many concept cars that demonstrate future technologies, however, the majority of the features on-board are software based, meaning quick and easy implementation in real-world markets.
Safety technology begins the second that you step into the SEAT Leon Cristobal – it won’t start unless all occupants have fastened their seatbelts and the driver has taken a breathalyser test. In order to ensure that the driver doesn’t swap seats to trick the test, the SEAT Leon Cristobal uses an eye monitoring sensor to prevent seat swapping. Failed breathalyser tests result in the concept car offering three options – call for a taxi, take another test or phone the ‘master user’ for permission to drive the car (the latter is applicable to people that have borrowed someone else’s car).
Once the car is started, it will automatically run in SEAT’s ‘Guardian Angel’ mode that sets all of the car’s driver assistance and safety features to their most active settings. These 19 different technologies all work together to ensure that the car protects the occupants to the best of its ability and could possibly work to reduce insurance premiums.
With many accidents on the road coming from a lapse in concentration or falling asleep at the wheel, the SEAT Leon Cristobal utilises cameras and eye tracking technology quite heavily. For starters, there is a built-in dashboard camera that can record footage of accidents and send it straight to the user’s smartphone – this camera has been integrated into the car in such a way that it can also send data of which safety systems were in use at the time.
There’s also use of a new system called ‘Eye Tracker’. This technology uses a camera to notice if the driver looks down (common if someone is checking their phone) and will then offer to send a message through the car’s infotainment system instead. Taking the technology even further, Eye Tracker can also determine when a driver is tired and about to fall asleep at the wheel through monitoring the driver’s eyelids.
Another interesting feature that SEAT have demonstrated with the SEAT Leon Cristobal is smartphone based vehicle monitoring or remote parental supervision.
Using SEAT’s special monitoring app, parents or the vehicle’s owner have the ability to not only monitor the car but also set speed limits, warn the driver should they be driving too fast or even limit the geographical area in which the driver can operate the car.
Whilst the SEAT Leon Cristobal remains a concept car for the time being, it certainly seems that the technology demonstrated is entirely attainable within the not too distant future. Should these technologies be rolled out across multiple brands, it is possible that consumers could benefit from reduced insurance premiums.