Automotive technologies are constantly evolving to make driving safer and easier. With self-driving cars not too far in the future, we’re seeing many car manufacturers implementing similar technologies into their vehicles.
Some of the top automotive technologies in 2019 include:
An estimated 750,000 vehicles will be stolen in 2019, but 46% of them are expected to be recovered thanks to technology.
Automakers are implementing features that allow for tracking of stolen vehicles. The feature would alert law enforcement of the vehicle’s location. The technology is being bundled into vehicle security and assistance systems, like GM’s OnStar and BMW’s Connected Drive.
These systems offer a plethora of other benefits as well, such as calling for rescue services after an accident and diagnosing car problems.
The idea of handing the car keys over to a teenager is frightening, especially because so many drivers are distracted and using their phones while behind the wheel. But some car manufacturers are implementing technology designed to put parents’ minds at ease.
Many cars now have some type of teen driver features that will notify you if your teen is driving over a certain speed. These features may also disable the stereo if the seatbelts aren’t used or prevent the teen from turning the stereo up too loud.
Other teen driver systems will notify parents if the forward collision alert or ABS was triggered while your teen was behind the wheel.
Most carmakers now offer apps that allow drivers to connect their smartphones to their vehicles. Some even allow you to lock and unlock your car doors remotely. Others will even let you see check the status of your fuel and tire pressure, or start up your car remotely.
The auto-start feature is especially useful in winter. You can start up and warm up your car without having to leave your bedroom.
While helpful, these apps do come at a price. Most will have either a yearly or monthly subscription. Check with your automaker or the app’s official page to find out how much the service will cost you.
Modern driver assist systems now include adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts the speed of your vehicle to the vehicle in front of you. Adaptive cruise control uses a complex system of sensors to adjust the vehicle’s speed.
This helpful feature will keep you from having to constantly brake and accelerate while on the highway. Some of these systems are so advanced that they can bring the car to a complete stop and then resume automatically.
You might feel uneasy giving up that much control of your vehicle, but these systems will make traffic jams less frustrating.
Car infotainment systems are far from intuitive. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are hoping to change that. Simply plug in your smartphone, and the app takes over the screen with an interface that’s more intuitive and familiar to use.
The simplified control screen allows you to access your GPS, music and voice control features.
Most car manufacturers have committed to adopting at least one of these systems, but it may not be available on some trim levels.
Parking lots are some of the most dangerous places to drive. Each time you back out of a space, you have to be on the lookout for pedestrians, shopping carts and other vehicles. Even with a back-up camera, maneuvering your way out of a parking space can be dangerous.
Rear cross-traffic alerts use built-in sensors to alert you of approaching people, carts and pedestrians. These systems emit loud beeps as warnings, but some more advanced systems will brake automatically to prevent a collision.
Automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems also rely on sensors to determine if a collision is imminent. If a potential collision is detected, the system will automatically apply the brakes to reduce the damage or avoid the crash entirely.
AEB will become standard in all vehicles by 2022, but many already have these systems in place.
Even with our best efforts, we sometimes get distracted while we’re driving. It could be a conversation or something that catches your eye on the side of the road. But it only takes a few seconds to veer off into the other lane and potentially hit another vehicle.
Lane departure warning systems use cameras to determine if your vehicle has drifted into another lane. These systems use audible or visual alerts – some even vibrate the steering wheel – to let you know that you’ve moved out of your lane. The system won’t engage if you have your blinker on.
Some cars have a more advanced version of this system and will actually nudge your vehicle back into the proper lane.
Lane Departure Alert systems can literally save your life, especially if you’re prone to highway hypnosis.
Mercedes-Benz has an impressive new feature that will actually scan the road ahead. If it detects imperfections, the system will adjust the car’s suspension automatically to account for them.
With Road Scanning, the car can anticipate and prepare for the terrain ahead, allowing for a smoother and quieter ride.
This feature is only available on high-end Mercedes-Benz models, but it may soon find its way into other models in the near future.
Some new car models are coming equipped with multi-angle and surround view cameras. Surround view cameras have been on the market for quite some time, but they’re now making their way into family SUVs and sedans.
More cameras mean more visibility and better overall safety. Automakers will undoubtedly find new ways to implement more cameras into every new vehicle, giving drivers more ways to check their surroundings before backing up or pulling out.
Car technologies will continue to advance at a rapid pace as we slowly transition to autonomous vehicles. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take a road trip across the country without ever having to put your hands on the steering wheel.
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