Everyone has had their favourite car gadgets realised in the last 10 years as technology on the road has advanced at an exponential rate. You don’t have to spend a fortune nowadays to own a car packed full of gadgets such as automatic windscreen wipers, MP3 connectivity, park distance sensors and hands free telephone functionality.
This is my count down of my top 5 car gadgets which are making driving more fun and some even making our journeys safer.
5. Stop-Start engine
Stop-Start engines have made an appearance in the last 3 years to a lot of affordable, environmentally friendly cars. The technology involves the engine turning itself off when you are in traffic or at lights, then restarting when you go to the accelerator to pull away. The feature saves fuel and in turn causes the car to emit less Co2 gas so it does not cause as much pollution. It can be found on many modern small cars and expect to see it even more in the future!
4. Heads-up displays
These give the driver a view of certain information projected onto part of the windscreen from the inside. The obvious information to project would be your speed. These are sneaking into some new cars and are in attempt to make the car safer as you can see you speed or other relevant driver information without looking away from the road. There is a video here of the new BMW 7 series using this technology:
It will be exciting to see what other possibilities this technology will allow. Augmented reality could be used to feed streams from social media and weather information straight to the driver’s display.
3. Wireless Internet
There are some premium cars on the market, for example the Audi A7, that feature in-car wireless internet capability linked to media screen on the dashboard. This internet stream can display the weather, traffic updates and information on the stock exchange. The technology also allows the screen to the used as a news feed for any world affairs and even the possibility to stream your Facebook and Twitter status feed in real time. Although criticised as being a driver distraction, rather than aid, it’s great to see cars embracing wireless communications like so many other platforms in the last 3 years have.
2. Auto brake
This great car gadget is a superb safety addition to modern cars. It was first featured on the Mercedes S Class and has since been included on other models such as Volvos. The technology uses infrared to detect when the car needs to be brake to prevent hitting a pedestrian. It is designed to work faster than human reaction times are able to and the use of it is being adapted to create adaptive cruise control which brakes and speeds your car up in alignment with the vehicle in front of you.
1. Auto parking
The best car gadget around at the moment is definitely the auto parking feature sneaking into some cars at the moment. You simply have to align your car to the space, input the area into the car computer and sit back. The car automatically drives and steers you into the outlined gap. This is great for nervous parkers and is becoming more widely available. The latest Ford Focus features this technology as many cars by Lexus already do.
Most of the cars mentioned can be provided by Nationwide Vehicle Contracts on a leased basis, giving you flexibility on your upgrade and financing options. These gadgets are moving into the realm of standard car equipment and it will be interesting to see what tech will be in cars of the future.
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