Every year the major car manufacturers roll out more and more in-car technology to entertain us, make us more comfortable and make driving safer.
Keeping up with these technologies can be difficult due to the wide variety that exist and how they are promoted. In this article we examine 7 technologies that are becoming common and are really useful to have.
1. Keyless Access and Start
Keyless access to vehicles utilizes wireless signals to communicate with your key fob when you come close to your vehicle. This allows you to lock and unlock your car without actually removing the key fob from your pocket or bag. These encrypted radio signals disengage the vehicle’s theft immobilizer as well, allowing you to start the vehicle with the push of a button.
2. Expanded Bluetooth
While the term “Bluetooth” has become synonymous with hands-free calling, this short-range wireless technology has a more to offer than just telephony. Virtually all vehicles fitted with Bluetooth have the capability to interface with a music streaming service. This type of connection lets you stream any form of audio from a Bluetooth-enabled device through the vehicle’s sound system.
3. Speech Voice Recognition
Many of today’s navigation systems incorporate voice recognition systems that interpret verbal requests and execute them. Whereas earlier systems would respond only to a few preset commands, the latest conversational voice recognition systems can control a large variety of automotive and communication systems.
4. USB Ports
USB ports are a great way to charge accessories and listen to music through audio devices without a wireless function, such as older iPods, USB flash drives or some cell phones. Bluetooth is fine for many things but it compresses audio signals a great deal which degrades your sound quality. “Old fashioned” USB is better because it transfers music from your device to your car’s audio system at a lossless rate resulting in better sound.
5. Remote Management via your Smartphone
Ever wish you could monitor and control essential vehicle functions through your smartphone? With Remote Vehicle Control, now you can. After downloading the appropriate application from the App Store or Google Play, you have the power to lock, unlock, and start your vehicle from virtually anywhere.
6. Blind Spot Monitoring
Blind spot-related accidents are very common. Many of today’s new cars now offer a sensor-based system designed to alert you to vehicles in your blind spot with either a lighted icon located in the side mirror, an aural warning, or both. Our friends at Pomoco Chrysler tell us that the blind spot sensors on their Chrysler 300 series of vehicles actually sense cars located in a driver’s blind spot via small radar sensors located across the rear of the car.
7. Pre-Collision Systems
Today’s pre-collision systems are considered by many to represent the most significant development in automotive safety technology since the airbag. Through the use of millimeter wave radar or more cost effective stereoscopic cameras, pre-collision systems constantly observe the vehicle’s surroundings for hazards. When an obstruction is identified, the system will alert the driver via an audible or visual warning. More advanced versions can actually apply the brakes for you if the system determines a collision is unavoidable.