7 On Your Side
Consumer Reports tests car safety upgrades
Many of today's new cars come loaded with advanced safety features like collision warning and blind-spot monitoring. Now you can equip older models with some of these state-of-the-art safety features. Consumer Reports has partnered exclusively with 7 On Your Side to check out two aftermarket systems.
In its promotional video, the Mobileye 560 claims to equip any vehicle with multiple safety systems: "Much like the human eye, the Mobileye system is capable of detecting and classifying different objects on the road, including other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, lane markings, and more."
Consumer Reports checked out the device; it's a small camera mounted on the windshield that monitors the road ahead and sends alerts to a small screen, or even to your smartphone. It costs $850 plus installation. Consumer Reports found Mobileye works well. Drivers get a lane-departure warning if they go over the line without signaling or approach the vehicle in front of them too quickly. And a test, using a life-sized dummy, found the Mobileye does alert you if you're about to hit a pedestrian when going slower than 31 mph.
"It's mounted in the front, so what it's seeing is what's in front of you, which is great, but it can't help you out with blind-spot monitoring or a backup camera," said Jim Travers, Consumer Reports.
Another aftermarket device, the $250 Goshers Blind Spot Detection System, alerts you if someone is approaching you on either side.
"We found that both systems worked as advertised. But these systems are no substitute for using your mirrors, paying attention, and looking over your shoulder when you need to, to change lanes," said Travers.
Be aware, the Goshers Blind Spot System isn't all that easy to install. It took a Consumer Reports mechanic four hours. So it really isn't a job for the average do-it-yourselfer.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
consumer reports, 7 on your side, michael finney
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