What a time to be alive! What a time to go for a drive! Automotive technology has never been so advanced or quickly evolving as it is today. Think about what top of the line features were available in most cars just 10-15 years ago. Sat-Nav? Bluetooth? Parking sensors? Nowadays these are features available (at least as an option) even in the most affordable of cars. Let's take a look at the top 10 technology features of today and what exactly they do.
This neat invention is different in every car but there are four main types: - Rear View Reversing Camera - Around View 360 Camera - Automated Park Assist - Fully Automated Parking.
Rear view reversing cameras offer assistance with lines for bay parking and often work in conjunction with parking sensors. Around view 360 cameras gives you a birds-eye view of your positioning. Automated Park Assist allows you to control the brake and the accelerator as the car controls the steering coordination. Some cars with this feature automatically detect the bay or the parallel park whilst others you need to toggle between a button. Fully Automated Parking is offered in cars from Tesla, BMW and Mercedes-Benz and this feature takes care of everything for you, leaving no room for human error.
Smartphones nowadays do everything - Music, navigation, podcasts, voice recognition and of course phone calls. There are hundreds of infotainment systems that include these features but not all of them do all of these things and fewer of them are user friendly. That’s why Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been so widely accepted. It simply mirrors your phone screen and allows you to get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and enjoy music in a very easy and safe manner.
Whilst regular cruise control is a fantastic and useful feature, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) solves the main problem that comes with it. This problem being that when the cars ahead of you suddenly brake or decide to drive 20 kms under the speed limit and you’re still cruising at the speed you originally set, there’s a likely risk of a collision. ACC helps prevent this risk by automatically adapting to the current traffic conditions, meaning slowing down or speeding up to traffic as necessary. This is controlled by the driver dialling in not only their desired speed, but also the size of the gap they’d like to leave between them and the car ahead.
Using a multitude of sensors, Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) can determine if a forward collision crash is imminent and will automatically apply the brake in order to reduce the severity of the crash or avoid the collision all together.
Using cameras, Lane Departure Warning systems determine if a car has coasted across a marked lane and will give the driver a visual or audible alert (sometimes even a vibration through the steering wheel or seat) that they’ve drifted too far out of their lane. The system will switch off when you use a turn signal, so there’s no sudden panic over potentially merging into another car. The next step from this is Lane Keeping Assist, which uses more advanced technology to safely steer you back into your proper lane.
One of the most useful and clever inventions is Blind Spot Monitoring. This system detects other vehicles in your blind spot and lights up the indicator to alert you not to merge lanes. It is simple and useful.
The future is now! Many car manufacturers today are including built in WiFi Hotspot as an available feature, making both kids and parents very happy on those long road trips. Gone are the days of camping outside cafes and fast food stores for a drop of free Wifi.
Proving again that simple yet useful is best, Traffic Sign Recognition is a technology that uses a camera and computer software to detect and communicate to you changes in driving conditions such as the speed limit.
This tech/safety features will turn your driver’s seat into more of a cockpit of fighter jet. The idea behind this is to minimise hazardous distractions by displaying the most important information, such as your current speed and any navigation directions, straight into the driver’s line of sight.
When you’ve got your hands full with groceries or Christmas shopping you’ll be glad you have this smart feature. With an automatic tail gate you can now open and close your boot / tailgate by raising your leg and doing a simple gesture with your foot. The foot activated system works differently depending on the car but the premise is the same all around in terms of hans free opening!
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