Automotive technology is advancing at an ever faster pace. Every new model year seemingly brings a new slew of high-tech features. Not every vehicle is available with all or even some of these features, but it’s important to know what’s out there and what you should expect to get for your money when it comes time to buy a new vehicle in 2019. Here we’ll take a look at some of the latest tech you’ll likely come across in any search for a new vehicle in the coming model year.
1) Steering Avoidance and automated braking
As we move closer to a fully-automated future, new features are coming to the market that inch things closer to that reality. Vehicles from Volvo, Lexus, and others can be had with steering avoidance systems that are able to automatically swerve to miss objects in the road ahead or keep your car centered in the lane.
Automated braking systems have been on the market for a while to the point where they’re now offered as standard on a variety of models. Steering avoidance systems are the next step of this feature, and function in situations where coming to a full stop to avoid a collision isn’t possible.
2) PreSafe Sound
Mercedes-Benz now offers a feature it refers to as “PreSafe Sound” that will pump a sound of a particular frequency into the vehicle’s cabin in a split second before a collision, with the intention of preparing the ear to cope with the pending loud noise of the crash.
This feature protects the inner ear. In the grand scheme of things, this may seem minor. But consider what happens in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Often times, your vehicle may come to rest in a location that places it in harm’s way, and having all of your senses at your disposal after the accident can help you to get yourself to safety.
3) Road Scanning
Mercedes-Benz has also long been a first-mover when it comes to introducing new automotive technology. This feature uses a camera to scan the road ahead to detect imperfections and adjusts the vehicle’s suspension to account for them. This feature anticipates the terrain ahead and allows for a smoother, quieter ride and better overall handling.
4) Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connect your vehicle’s infotainment screen with the operating system of your phone. This usually requires a cable, but a few automakers, like BMW, are now offering it wirelessly. These two systems allow you to access your phone’s contacts, messaging, and music and, perhaps most beneficially, navigation apps through the infotainment screen of your vehicle. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow you to leverage many of your phone’s modern, beneficial features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will enable you to experience web-based search results and the latest apps and navigation features. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also allow you to send and receive text messages via voice command.
5) Wireless Charging
As technology advances, mobile devices are moving away from wires and cables and on to wireless charging capability. New phones from Google, Apple, and Samsung all offer wireless charging capability, and as a result, automakers have begun to incorporate wireless charging pads into new vehicles, typically locating them somewhere on the center console.
6) Vehicle Control via an App
In our ever evolving connected world, automakers have begun to offer apps that allow us to interact with our vehicle from afar. These apps can allow you to monitor the area around the vehicle, honk the horn, flash the lights, start the car, park and summon the vehicle and, in the cases of electric vehicles, monitor the battery’s state of charge. In many cases, these connected apps allow you to leave those keys at home and truly live in the modern world. Additionally, they make it easier for you to find a car in a parking lot and allow you to double check from afar whether or not you remembered to lock it.
7) High Resolution, Multi-Angle Surround View Cameras
Surround-view cameras have been on the market for a while, but they’re slowly moving downmarket and are available on mainstream sedans and family SUVs. As technology moves forward, we’re now seeing cameras that can attach to trailers and integrate with the vehicle’s infotainment screen, provide multiple angles (including a view of what’s in front of your car), allow you to keep an eye on your back seat passengers and even keep an eye on valet drivers. Additionally, brand-new vehicle designs are replacing what are traditionally low-res feeds with crisp, clean, high-res imagery.
8) Semi-Autonomous Driving
While we’re still years away from a vehicle that can drive itself without any human input, semi-autonomous driving features that serve to compensate for human error are becoming more and more commonplace. Tesla and other automakers have their own versions of this technology, and more automakers are expected to introduce their own versions very shortly. Right now, these features are typically only available on higher-end vehicles