It was just another morning commute to work. Or at least, that’s what I thought. I left home ten minutes earlier and was driving the same road I have driven every day for the past 20 years.
On the highway, coming out of a side street, a large flatbed semi-truck turned into my lane. I did not immediately see the vehicle and had no time to react. I couldn’t avoid the impact. I drive an older-model car, and the accident was so severe the police and doctor both said I was extremely lucky to be alive. How I was able to walk away with only a few broken bones is hard to believe.
Since that day, I have been reflecting a lot about what we do at Aptiv and how the active safety features we develop are helping to save lives every day. I owe my life to a seatbelt and airbags. And I am so grateful for those safety features. But what if the accident had been avoided in the first place? In a world in which 94 percent of accidents are influenced by driver error, active safety plays a crucial role in reducing fatalities by helping prevent the accident altogether.
As a leader in making safe mobility real, our active safety solutions could have helped prevent my accident. Our adaptive cruise control would have given me more time to react. Autonomous emergency braking would have helped prevent the impact. In-cabin driver sensing would have detected my distraction and brought my attention back to the road. The accident reminded me how much what we do at Aptiv matters. It reminded me the importance of the work I do. We don’t just make car parts, we provide life-saving solutions in the real world.
I am the manager of one of Aptiv’s electromagnetic compatibility validation laboratories. Since I started with the company 20 years ago, as a student, I have tested all of Aptiv’s products. Radars, cameras, infotainment, you name it. As a validation team, we are “quality gatekeepers.” We help ensure Aptiv delivers automotive grade solutions that work in all types of real-world scenarios. There’s a good reason we focus on quality. It’s because our very own lives depend on it. We will continue to work on innovations that can help prevent drivers around the world from having an accident like mine.