BUY LANEFX AND SAVE
How To Avoid Car Gadgets & Choose the Right Park Assist Technology for Your Driving Safety
Aftermarket companies offer three types of backup systems: rear-view cameras, sensor systems, and mirror tilt-down. Use Types to
decide which type best suits your needs. For all camera and sensor systems, we recommend professional installation.
No matter what type of system you choose, consider these things when deciding on a specific model:
Know how the device mounts on your vehicle.
Camera and sensor systems that are mounted on the vehicle’s bumper or bodywork may necessitate drilling. They may not be the best choice if you lease your vehicle.
If you have a hitch, you can consider a model that mounts in the trailer-hitch receiver. But you would have to remove the system to use your hitch.
Other camera and sensor models mount on the license-plate frame. But some states prohibit frames because they can obscure the plate.
Within types, features vary. This is especially true with the sensor models we tested. The ultrasonic systems were generally the most sensitive, but their performance was adversely affected
by rain, snow, or other inclement weather.
The microwave-based sensor systems we tested were not affected by weather but are less sensitive as a group. They also don’t warn the driver unless the vehicle or object behind it is moving.
The display quality of the camera-based models is very good, although it doesn’t match that of the larger screens on some carmakers’ systems. Most of the system displays turn on when the
vehicle shifts into reverse, but one, the Audiovox, must be turned off and on manually.
LaneFX is More Than Just a Car Gadget
Many of the latest car models include systems that alert you when a car is in your
blind spot. Those of us with older autos have had rely on our own road skills -- until now. Drivaware has introduced LaneFX: When you activate your turn signal,
the device moves the corresponding side-view mirror to expose your blind spot and any vehicles that may be hiding in it. Of course, if you remember your driver's training, a quick glance over your
shoulder does essentially the same thing. The LaneFX is compatible with any car that has power mirrors and is available in a Basic Edition ($197), Highway Edition ($242) and Commuter Edition ($296).
Let me tell you about the coolest product I never reviewed. It's a wonderfully complex solution to a problem that shouldn't
even be a problem. This product, LaneFX, is a microcontroller that interacts with the side mirrors in your car.
You want to change lanes, and you glance in your side mirror. It looks clear. But in your LaneFX-equipped car, you can press a button and the mirror sweeps out to show you the blind spot
beyond the limit of your peripheral vision. Then it returns to its normal position. If you flick on your turn signal, the mirror also does its sweep.
It works on either side of the car, and it also has an extended mode for when you want to keep an eye on traffic alongside and behind you, as when you're merging onto a freeway. Now let's
say you're going to parallel-park. You slip your car into reverse—and the right mirror angles itself downward so you can see the curb.
Although that's the end of the LaneFX's bag of tricks, it's just the beginning of the ways it can be implemented. You can customize how far each mirror moves, how long it pauses, and how
long it takes to get there. You can even make mistakes in hooking up the wires to the mirror motors; the microcontroller has a learn mode so you can teach it which wires to use to control each
motion. An LCD screen prompts you through every step of the procedure.
Merging Into Highway Traffic Proves Difficult for Most Drivers
Drivaware reports lane changing on busy highways can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers. The secret is to plan ahead by knowing what other vehicles are doing around you.
In Drivaware's interactive demo on safe lane changes and merges, the car in the right lane is traveling faster than your car. Many impatient drivers will (wrongly) tailgate slower vehicles traveling
in the fast lane. Be proactive! Avoid this situation by staying right as much as is practical. In this example, it would be best to move your vehicle over to the right lane as soon as it is safe.
Be smarter than the other guy! Use your turn signal every time you change lanes along with the new
LaneFX system. Before you make your move, look in your side and rearview mirrors to make sure the
lane is clear. If there is another vehicle in the lane, or if there is another vehicle in the right lane behind you (at a distance) which is overtaking you at a fast speed, stay where you are. Wait
for that vehicle to pass you.
Remember you have blind spots, and that the blind spot on the right is larger than on the left. Before you change lanes, turn your head carefully to check the appropriate blind spot.
When you decide it is safe, turn the steering wheel in the direction you wish to go. Change lanes quickly, but smoothly. Do not wander as you change lanes. You always want to appear confident and
in control of the situation.
Once you've successfully negotiated the lane change, make sure your turn signal is off. This is important. If other drivers see that your turn signal is always on, they may not trust you on the
highway! They will never know when you want to turn and when you don't.
Basic Skills for Safer Commutes
Driving has changed a lot since most of us first got behind the wheel. This section will help you to keep a constant watch on your surroundings, the vehicles and people around you at all times.
An important factor to take into consideration when driving is to check your mirrors frequently, and also check the blind spots, by looking over your shoulders before switching lanes or making
turns. As we age, most of us become less flexible, so check out the information on this site about exercises that will keep you limber and help you drive safely.
Knowing the needs of other traffic like trucks, buses, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians is very important. For example, trucks should be provided with
extra space, as they need wider turning
lanes, watch out for buses, as they need to enter traffic from stopping lanes, and give pedestrians plenty of time to cross the road.
Everyone has one or two problematic areas of driving. Click the links on your right, to the areas that give you trouble. We can all improve our driving.
LaneFX is Leading the Way for Auto Safety and Driver Awareness Everyday
Drive Safer With the Drivaware LaneFX: Most
of the time, when consumer electronics meet the automotive world, you get more stereo options and DVD players in the back seat. Drivaware has something a little more useful: the LaneFX,
a controller than connects your power mirrors to your turn signals, so that when you signal (you do signal before you turn, right?), your mirrors swivel outward so that you can
see your blind spot. Hey, if this keeps just one cyclist out of the hospital, I’m happy.
Derik’s Thoughts: Geeky and useful. Double threat!
Why Turn Your Head Away From Traffic?
Turn your side mirror instead whenever you need to change lanes!
LaneFX is a controller that links your car's power mirrors and turn signals, and whenever you use your turn signal, it automatically moves the mirrors outwards so you can instantly see
in your blind spot. LaneFX can also be outfitted with ParkFX, which tilts both mirrors down so you can see where you're parking.
What a great idea—this beats the hell out of that "objects are closer than appear" concept which gives you a distorted view of reality in that right-side rearview mirror.
LaneFX does make two assumptions, though: that you have power mirrors in your car and that you actually use your turn signals when you're going to change lanes. You do signal when you're changing
lanes, don't you? Sale prices start below $170. What a deal! Get one in time for the holidays and have safer winter driving.