Taking driver-assist technology to the next level is the “Smart Stop” system currently in development by Mercedes Benz. The wireless safety system, which allows intersections to communicate with vehicles, would automatically cause a car to stop at a red light should a driver fail to heed it.

Gordon Peredo, of Mercedes' Research and Development unit told Boing Boing that the system allows vehicles to converse with “smart” intersections. A monitor incorporated into a car’s dash would feature information shared by the two, such as real time traffic data and the vehicle’s distance from the approaching intersection. He also says that cars implemented with the wireless transceivers would be able to communicate with one another – possibly alleviating the potential problem of a rear end pile up should one car be stopped suddenly.

Of course for this type of road safety technology to be effective it would require not only a blanket upgrade of communication standards and infrastructure but also the co-operation of national and local governments, and the industry as a whole – certainly no mean feat.

So while Mercedes Benz is hoping to see this type of technology soon join the likes of current driver assist systems like lane departure warnings and proximity detectors, it may be some time before this radical leap forward in driver safety makes it onto the roads.