Our rapidly improving technology has changed the way we live in every area of our lives, from communication to how we order food. It makes sense, then, that technology also changes our relationships with our cars. Cars are becoming more and more multi talented and user-interactive, and there’s a lot to look forward to in the future of vehicles. Keep this tech in mind the next time you slip behind the wheel of a potential new car.

Pedestrian detection

There’s no denying that cars are dangerous. Apart from the obvious danger of car crashes themselves, as recently as 2011, over 70,000 pedestrians were struck annually by cars. The good news is that this number is on a general decline. In 1995, for example, the number of injured pedestrians was closer to 90,000. With the pedestrian detection feature, hopefully we’ll see this number drop even farther. This feature uses a combination of an in-vehicle camera and radar to detect potential accidents before they happen, even if a pedestrian isn’t immediately visible to you, the driver. If you don’t quickly respond to visual and audio prompts to brake, the car may brake on its own to protect both you and the person in front of your car. Look for this impressive technology in a wide range of cars, including Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Crosstrek, Honda Accord, and Toyota Corolla 2019, among others.

Stolen vehicle tracking

Just like pedestrian accidents, car theft is a problem that, while still prevalent, is on the decline. About $6 billion was lost in vehicle theft in 2017. If that sounds like a staggering number, it might be helpful to realize that vehicle theft has dropped by 46 percent since 1991. Add a layer of protection to your own car by considering new technology that can help law enforcement find your car if it someone else ever drives off with it. This technology is often included in a vehicle’s assistance system, like Connected Drive or OnStar. That same GPS technology that can help you find a good restaurant can now serve as a type of insurance against the upset of car theft.

Green lights only

Some technology even has the ability to give you nothing but green lights. It might sound like something you’d wish a genie for, but Audi’s new tech, called Green Light Optimised Speed Advisory (GLOSA), connects with the local stoplight system in order to tell the driver what speed they should drive at in order to hit the next traffic light while it’s green. While the technology won’t tell its user to drive over the speed limit, it might recommend speeds just slow enough to annoy other drivers. If red lights are the worst part of driving for you, this could be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

External airbags

We all know the importance of airbags. They reduce the severity of car crashes and save lives. Why restrict such a great feature to the inside of the car? A German auto supplier has recently finalized this technology, saying that it’s highly effective–reducing injuries by around 30 percent–and it’s ready to be used in cars. The idea is straightforward. These external airbags would be located on either side of your car, and when sensors detect that a T-bone collision is unavoidable, the airbags inflate in an incredible 100 milliseconds or less. You then have an extra layer of bumper car-like protection between you, your loved ones, and an oncoming car. While the technology is ready, it cannot be installed into a previously existing car; it has to be in place as the car is manufactured. It’s a big commitment for car manufactures, and it may be a while before these cars hit the road. Keep an eye out for it and other new technology in the coming years, and expect your drives to only get safer and easier as all this incredible car technology develops.