The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2020) was held earlier this month in Las Vegas. This year’s technological showcase featured a great many new advances related to the “connected car” category, although many of the new advances went well beyond simply connecting devices. Many were designed to make driving safer all around. Here are some of the advances that received the most attention from vehicle safety experts.
The Matrix Wand
Despite its fantastical name, the Matrix Wand is not a toy plastic stick designed to be used by a magician-in-training. It is actually a device that can be used by vehicle repair shops to diagnose a vehicle after an accident. The Matrix Wand will identify and diagnose all of a vehicle’s electronic features, so mechanics can know what needs to be fixed and make sure everything is working as it should before releasing the car to the road again.
Since more than 90 percent of all vehicles produced for consumers these days has one or more Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features, which are designed exclusively for road safety, the ability of repair shop mechanics to identify the electronic parts that have been negatively impacted in a crash is essential. The Matrix Wand integrates the Mitchell Reference Database, which is a cross-reference guide for everything electronic on a vehicle, in a way that ensures that any mechanic in any repair shop can replace any ADAS feature and to do so extremely accurately. According to the Matrix Wand specs, any ADAS feature replaced by a mechanic will be accurate to the nearest millimeter.
Are You Checking Your TPMS As Often As You Should?
The idea of fixing flat tires is rarely anyone’s idea of a fun time. However, there are many times when a flat tire represents more than just a tire that has low air pressure. For instance, some blowouts can cause the vehicle and the driver to lose control, putting the lives of the people inside that car and perhaps several others at serious risk.
About a dozen years ago or so, the Firestone tires put on many Ford Explorer SUVs failed terribly, and the resultant recall led to a new law mandating that all passenger vehicles must be equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning system. The TPMS is an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure inside the pneumatic tires on most vehicles. While TPMS hasn’t exactly become a household word or term, but TPMS problems occur often, on many different models of vehicles.
Well, auto safety experts at CES 2020 noted that TPMS systems should be replaced every three years or less because they can fail or malfunction. According to some experts, every TPMS sensor will eventually fail when the battery dies, and the batteries are designed to last about 5-7 years, at most, and they are not serviceable.
According to safety specialists, there may be more than 150 million vehicles on the road with TPMS sensors with batteries that are over 3 years old, with the number growing every day. Safety experts at CES used the event to warn consumers that a solution to the problem is simple. Each time your vehicle is being serviced (you know, an oil change and a fluid level check), ask the mechanic to also check your TPMS is checked. In addition, have the TPMS checked when you are having your tires changed, as well. This way, you keep on top of the status of your tires and their condition, which means the odds of a blowout or another tire-related tragedy happening is minimal.
The Consumer Electronics Show presents new technology related to all areas of life and from all over the country and the world. This year, there was an impressive new product from a family-owned business from right here in San Antonio.
A number of states offer gun owners the right to carry a weapon in their pickup truck, in the glove compartment or on the backseat. Unfortunately, there are times when children gain access to the guns in the pickup and could potentially hurt or kill someone as a result. To address the issue, San Antonio-based Lock’er Down invented and is now selling a secure gun safe that fits in the consoles of a number of pickups, including those made by Dodge, Chevrolet, Toyota, and other carmakers.