The Top 10 Technologies You Need In Your Car

The Top 10 Technologies You Need In Your Car

Let’s be honest with each other about something: cars ain’t what they used to be.

Just as you no longer need to crouch down and wind up the engine with a crowbar in front of your hood, so too is it no longer sufficient to have a peek under the hood at the car lot and decide from there whether or not it’s a vehicle you want to be driving. Engines are obviously a crucial part of the package, but it’s simply not sufficient any more to say that they are the part. There have been advancements made in recent years in all kinds of other areas—from mobile app connectivity to rear-view parking assistance measures, today’s cars may well have been able to pass for a UFO if Henry Ford were to stick his head inside one to the latest models.

What are we talking about?

We’re talking about technology.

Cars have been rapidly expanding in terms of the technology they can offer inside the shell, as well as on the dashboard, in the steering wheel, from the central console, and even from the dividers between the rear seats of the machine. With the automobile giants competing with each other more and more frenetically, innovation has been driven at an incredible rate, with the result that new technology you can include in your automobile is popping up more or less everywhere you look.

But as is the case with any recent surge in technology, to the everyday punter these developments can quickly become less fun and more stressful. Walk into any lot and ask the car salesman who comes out to meet you about the technology available in any given recent model. Feel your heart sink as he runs for his office, only to return with a massive tome that could easily pass for an organic chemistry textbook, filled to bursting with bells and whistles, lights and dimmers, switches and plugs, cables and cords.

We know things can get overwhelming, especially in today’s information-saturated world. That’s why the team here at carloans.ca have provided a list of the Top Ten Technologies You Need In Your Car, designed to help you cut through the marketing smog and pinpoint exactly which of these latest improvements are the most important, and which you simply shouldn’t go without in your car.

Without further ado, here’s the list.

1: Adaptive Cruise Control

Nobody thinks commuting is fun. If there are less enjoyable ways to pass time in a car than sitting in long, rush-hour queues, only now and again stop-starting your way forward a few inches, we don’t want to know about them.

Unfortunately, it’s an inevitable aspect of life for many working people. We wish it weren’t the case, but it is—most of us simply can’t avoid it. Which is where adaptive cruise control comes into play.

As an advanced driver assist system, ACC uses a range of sensors built into the car itself wto allow the computer to effectively steer your vehicle. Turn it on and it’ll move at the speed of the car in front of you, getting rid of the gas brake duality which is so unpleasant to battle in traffic jams.

2. Automatic Emergency Braking

A close-up of car brakes.

Another kind of driver assist system, automatic emergency braking, or AEB, also makes use of sensors built into your car to help make driving less stressful and more safe. It’s planned to be standard in cars by 2022, but plenty models already include it, and if you’re checking out a new set of wheels, you may well want to make sure the ride ticks this particular box.

The computer runs all the time, and uses the data provided by the sensors to decide if a crash is about to happen. When it thinks a crash is coming, it deploys the brakes to mitigate any damage done, or even avoid the accident completely—and it does all of this in a split second, helping you stay as safe as possible.

3. Cyclist Protection Measures

We all know how it’s not always a walk in the park to share the road with cyclists. Whether you’re on the bike or in the car, one danger that’s never far from your mind is the possibility of cycling straight into a door, flung out in front of your nose in just enough time to send you flying.

Fortunately, rear-looking sensors have been developed which can sense approaching bicycles. Designed to work even after the engine has been turned off, if a cyclist is found to be approaching, a series of warning signs (usually either lights or sound effects) will be set off, alerting the driver not to open their door, and saving everybody’s peace of mind from unnecessary upheaval.

4. Android Auto / Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay in action.

While the new displays available in cars nowadays are useful for controlling climate control, the stereo, and whichever GPS system is being used, they’re not always as easy to use as they should be. We’ve all been there—sitting in your driveway, planning your next move, and tapping with increasing impatience at a screen that simply refuses to help you get to where you’re going.

This is where Android Auto (or the iOS Apple equivalent, CarPlay) comes into its own. Once you plug in your smartphone, you’ll be able to control all of the features that usually necessitate use of the (often clunky) central console, right from your cell. GPS, music, climate, and even voice-control features are all supported, making this a small choice which leads to huge levels of convenience.

5. Blind Spot Detection

Following on from the cyclist protection and adaptive driver settings, blind spot detection technology makes use of radar / sonar sensors to watch for any traffic approaching in the adjacent lane. Blind spots are a nuisance—whether it’s the fault of the Z pillar of simply a poorly-designed outer body—and can be scary, too, when you’re unsure about whether anything is actually there or not.

This technology comes in a few different flavours: while some versions give you advance notice of a car overtaking you, others don’t make a peep until the car is right beside you. It’s best to check the user’s manual to your particular car in order to make sure you get the technology that’s right for you.

6. Parking Cameras

A close-up of a camera lens.

Although backup cameras have been legally necessary for all standard, passenger cars sold in the United States from May 1st, 2018, onwards, parking cameras are a relatively new addition to the list of smart driving assistance aids—and what an addition they’ve turned out to be.

Making use of one, two, or even three high-definition, robust cameras, you can have a crystal-clear picture of what’s going on behind you while you try to park beamed right to the central console of your vehicle, making life easier for you as well as any pedestrians who may have stumbled into your way.

7. HUDs (Heads-Up-Displays)

Moving quickly away from having all the important information you need to drive safely stuck on your dashboard, behind the steering wheel, car manufacturers are now getting their hands on HUD technology. By projecting the information onto the windscreen right ahead of you, you don’t need to ever take your eyes off the road to monitor the crucial details you need to drive responsibly.

Different ways of projecting exist, but most do it in such a way that even on a sunny day init won’t be hamstrung by the reflection of the light. And since most all of these heads-up-displays are customisable, you don’t have to include any information you don’t want to.

8. PreSafe Sound

While this option is only offered by Mercedes-Benz at the moment, it was just too cool not to include on the list. PreSafe Sound is intended as another means to mitigate the damage done by an accident, but instead of focusing on your body, if focuses on your hearing.

Crashes are loud, and the delicate inner ear is often severely damaged in even a mildly-seriously pile-up. PreSafe Sound pumps a particular frequency into the vehicle just before it detects a collision. It does this to instantly prepare the ear for the much louder noise to come, reducing the risk of tinnitus as well as lasting hearing damage.

9. Wireless Charging

Although not technically a technological advancement that directly impacts how you drive, or how your vehicle handles the road, wireless charging is nevertheless an Uber-convenient addition to the battery of features today’s tech-heavy cars are offering.

Worry no more about forgetting the cable to charge your phone for a long drive. With this technology—which is generally situated somewhere on the central console—all you need to do is place your phone directly on to the port, and the tech will do the rest. Your phone gets charged, you get to stop worrying about whether or not you remembered your charger: it’s a win-win.

10. Digital Instruments

Taking seriously the instruments you need to drive safely has always been a major concern of every automobile developer. As a result, they’ve been somewhat reluctant up until now to stray too far from the tried-and-tested, physical gauges which have become a hallmark of all makes of car.

Now, though, with increasingly reliable technology at our fingertips, we’re finally seeing a move away from physical instrument readouts—which, although reliable, can become grimy, speckled with dust, or simply broken—and towards digital options.

Not only is the information presented in a more easily-read manner, but the gauge cluster you choose to have in your car is completely customisable by you. From speedometers to tachometers, every instrument is getting a rework with this cutting-edge technology, and we can probably expect them to become standard on all models in the near future, given the vast increases they give us in convenience, safety, and ease of operation.

Conclusion

So there you have it—the Top Ten Technologies You Need In Your Car. Although this list is obviously not an exhaustive one, we hope it’ll give you the framework to start conducting your own research. After all, now that you’ve seen some of the most important bits of tech, it should be easier to cut through all the nonsense and get right to the heart of which kinds of technology you want in your car. Whether it’s to do with safety (via driver assistance systems) or convenience, there truly is something out there on the market today for every kind of car user.

No matter what your particular situation is, if you’re in the market for any kind of car loan, give us a call here at Carloans.ca. We’ll always listen to what you have to say, and we’ll always do our very best to help you out.

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