“Fast forward, and now it seems every model of car offers a simply amazing wealth of gizmos and gadgets. Sophisticated safety systems that can take control of a vehicle away from the driver.”
There was a time when technology for cars was a very expensive proposition, it was always higher end cars that gained the latest and most exotic advancements in vehicular technology. Fast forward, and now it seems every model of car offers a simply amazing wealth of gizmos and gadgets. Sophisticated safety systems that can take control of a vehicle away from the driver to avoid a crash are becoming commonplace on all brands. Smartphone connectivity and tablet –style interfaces for infotainment and other feature are now ubiquitous. So, what’s next on the horizon? Here’s a look at some of the hottest features debuting on cars and trucks for the 2018 and beyond model year.
Autonomous Self-Driving Technology
Cadillac’s long-awaited semi-autonomous-driving Super Cruise system finally comes to market for 2018 on the brand’s flagship CT6 sedan. It incorporates the car’s existing suite of driver-assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot and lane-monitoring systems, and forward auto-braking – and enhances them with a self-steering function and advanced LiDAR-scanned mapping. Though it’s limited to use on multi-lane highways, Super Cruise affords hands- and foot-free driving by automatically maintaining a safe distance between the vehicle and traffic ahead at a speed selected by the driver, and keeping the car centered within lane markers.
In-car Wellness technology
The Mercedes-Benz’s premium S-Class sedan has driver’s health at its heart as it offers luxury features like heated armrests, and a newly available ENERGIZING Comfort function. It adjusts the car’s climate control, seat heating, cooling, and massaging functions, ambient lighting, audio system programming, and even the car’s automatic fragrance dispensing system according to six selectable programs claimed to maximize both a motorist’s overall well-being and his or her performance. These 10-minute mobile spa visits are designed to enhance “Freshness,” “Warmth,” “Vitality,” “Joy,” and “Comfort,” along with a “Training” function with simple exercises designed to promote muscle relaxation, muscle activation and balance.
True Hi Fi in-car audio
Want to savour the warmth and richness of vinyl analog recordings in a family car, the new-for-2018 Hyundai Elantra GT and Kia Stinger models both offer Harmon Kardon’s new Clari-Fi system that purports to restore digital audio signals to full fidelity. The system scans compressed audio files for lost music details and corrects waveform deficiencies to create clearer, crisper, wider, and more dynamic source quality.
Video-on the move
With many vehicles already offering built-in Wi-Fi hotspots for connecting portable devices to the internet, the redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator goes a step further with the technology. The full-size SUV’s available dual-screen rear entertainment system can now accommodate a Slingbox streaming media device that enables passengers to access live streaming TV channels while on the road.
In-Car Augmented Reality
While some automakers have already digitized the owner’s manual, Hyundai’s Genesis luxury-car division gives it the augmented reality treatment for 2018. A free download for iPhone and Android-based devices, the new Genesis Virtual Guide leverages 2-D and 3-D tracking technology to make looking up how a particular system or function operates as easy as pointing a phone or tablet at it. The app includes 135 how-to videos and 25 3-D overlay images that pop up on a smartphone or tablet’s screen.
Next Generation Bluetooth
Honda seeks to make the sometimes patchy Blue tooth connection experience process much easier and of a higher quality with its redesigned midsize Accord sedan via so-called Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Though only available for Android phones, all a motorist has to do to pair a phone is to simply tap it against a stylized “N” logo on the dashboard. Simply and easier than hunting around as is the current method.
Automatic Self- Parking
Hate trying to find parking in the crowded city. BMW offers technology from the smartphone app company Parkmobile that helps drivers reserve and pay for parking in 250 cities across the U.S. and Canada via the cars’ iDrive infotainment system. This includes locating both available on- and off-street parking, and airport and event reservations. Users are given a choice of parking locations based on current GPS coordinates, and can preselect parking times with the ability to extend sessions remotely via the companion ParkNow app.