Chevrolet's Surround Vision Technology Could Save Lives

Chevy has developed car tech to prevent injuries sustained in residential areas.

Chevrolet’s Surround Vision technology uses four cameras: the
Chevrolet’s Surround Vision technology uses four cameras: the standard Rear Vision Camera, a forward-looking camera in the front grille and two side-looking cameras under each side mirror.

Safety technology in cars has come a long way. New tech like lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking are common in new cars and have likely already done their part to help prevent an exponential number of car-on-car collisions. However, many of these safety features are made to protect the driver, the car itself, and its other occupants—these vehicles are still 2000-plus lb death machines that are a huge threat to pedestrians. Rear-visibility cameras alleviate this problem and are now mandatory on all new commercial vehicles. Chevrolet, however, knows that this isn't enough to prevent pedestrian fatalities. 

In a press release Wednesday, the company stressed that there are still far too many deaths and injuries caused by backovers, despite the inception of backup cameras. Chevy cited an NHTSA briefing from 2014 stating that there are more than 200 fatalities and 15,000 injuries each year resulting from these types of accidents; many of these occur from just backing out of the driveway. The problem is that drivers often fail to see lower-profile obstacles even with rearview cameras and blind-spot assists; unfortunately many of those obstacles are human beings, and this blindness can prove tragic to someone just walking past a driveway.

Chevrolet says it has a solution; it just launched the 2018 Equinox and with it, Surround Vision.  Surround Vision works by using four cameras positioned on all sides of the car to act as a live feed and track obstacles close to the car. When the car is in reverse, the infotainment system shows a panoramic view of all sides of the car so the driver can see anyone or anything that appears next to, in front of, or behind the car. This will help drivers notice objects that they otherwise wouldn't see if they just turned their heads. Chevy emphasizes that this technology should only be used in addition to the normal precautions one uses when backing up, not as a substitute.

Surround Vision is offered on the 2018 Equinox, Bolt EV, and Traverse, and is available now.