Once upon a time, a CD player and climate control signalled technology at its finest in a car. Today, however, cars are driven by tech, and they have just about every gadget and piece of software you can think of, from Bluetooth connections to wifi. But what are the best technology features that you should be on the lookout for in modern-day cars? Join us as we rev up the engine and see what technology is shaping the vehicles of today.
Advanced driver-assist systems
The cars of today are so clever that they practically drive themselves. With advanced driver assist systems, cars can react to hazards, reduce driver fatigue and make life that little bit easier for you in traffic, which is great if you live in a congested city. Oh, and some will even park the car for you. Say goodbye to tight spaces that require parallel parking.
Activity key assist
Unlocking your car with a set of keys is so 2020. Today, most cars bypass conventional key entry by allowing you to unlock your car from an app on your mobile phone. There's also wristband access, which hasn't quite hit the mainstream yet but probably isn't far off from featuring in new cars. It requires you to tap the band against a specific spot on the door panel, which will open up the car and get you on your merry way.
Virtual door mirrors
Say goodbye to mirrors and hello to virtual doors. How do they work, you ask? There's a camera on each side of the car sending live footage to sections in the corners of the dashboard or in the doors. The cameras generate less wind and noise, minimising blind spots and providing a clearer view in the process. Plus, they automatically alter to provide you with different views for a variety of driving scenarios, such as being on the motorway, in the city or in rural locations.
These days, most cars feature parking cameras (though you might need to include them as an extra feature) that give you a better view when parking. So if you don't have a car that does it for you, the next best option is one with a camera that makes parking and manoeuvring through tight spaces that much easier.
Automatic emergency braking
Get a car with an automatic emergency braking system (AEB), and it will stop if a collision is imminent and brake to either void or minimise the chances of an accident. AEB reacts faster than a person behind the wheel, which increases your safety in the car. Now that's technology that we can really get behind.
Digital rear-view mirror
If your car has a digital rear-view mirror, then you can flick a switch and turn it into a high-definition screen with an extra-wide view of the road behind. It's great for cars with smaller rear windows, but it's also just as welcome on any car, as it will give drivers a better view of the road and remove pesky blind spots.
Radar cruise control
Cruise control is now a pretty standardised feature in cars, but radar cruise control? Now we're talking. It's a radar-based adaptive system that adjusts your car's speed accordingly to maintain a set distance behind the car in front. The result is congested motorway cruising that's a lot less stressful.
Wireless Smartphone Charging and Connectivity
Who uses wires in 2021? They're all tangly, and you're forever losing them. Fortunately, car manufactures have recognised this and now implement wireless smartphone charging in many of their cars. Simply put your phone on the built-in charging system and voila, you can charge and drive at the same time.
Most cars have dipped and high-beam headlights, but that could soon be a thing of the past. The latest headlight innovations simply block out any section of light aimed at oncoming vehicles, which means no more having to adjust your lights when you go down those dark country lanes. The beams are also altered automatically depending on the weather conditions.
Larger and longer cars have more blind spots, and it can be hard to see some parts of the road. With blindspot morning, the technology can sense when a car or other object is near one of those blind spots and alert you accordingly. A very useful addition to larger cars, indeed.
The entertainment in cars these days is really on point, from Bluetooth technology to wifi connections. Apple CarPlay allows you to connect your iPhone, while Android capabilities also exist. Your car is an entertainment hub, where you can do just about everything from listening to your favourite songs to getting live traffic reports and checking the weather forecast.
The best technology in cars
Today's cars are moving computers, and we for one, love the technology available in them. They make your life easier and provide an even more luxurious ride. And with technology always evolving, we can't wait to see what the cars of tomorrow have in store when it comes to handy gadgets and features.