Our generation has been defined by the rise of technology and it seeping down into everything that we do include cars.
Driving on the road just 2 decades back was a completely different experience from what you would witness today. Gone are the days where cars felt like a mechanical machine and not like a super-refined smartphone with wheels. Back then you primarily relied on your judgment, wits, and skill to drive a car and now you can basically take your hand off the steering wheel in many cars. Some people might say that technology has ruined the driving experience, but we feel that it was a necessary trade-off as cars have become much safer and these features have helped save countless lives. Without further ado, here are the top 10 modern car features that have impacted driving and cars as we know it.
10. Heat and Massage Functions
Cars have become incredibly comfortable over the past few years. Gone are the days where you would have a sore back and stiff muscles after just a few hours of driving. Heating, Ventilation, and Massaging seats are now widespread and even found on everyday cars like the 2021 Toyota Camry and 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. Even the door handles, armrests and steering wheel come with heating functions all geared towards making your drive as comfortable as possible.
9. 360 degrees Surround Views
It’s crazy to think that just 25 years ago you needed to basically get out of a Lamborghini Diablo just to reverse into space. And now at a touch of a button, a 360-degree view of the surroundings is visible on a large crystal clear screen. In some cars, you can even scroll through different angles like you are in a video game. This feature is now widespread and found even in everyday cars like the 2021 Toyota Camry.
8. Heads-Up Displays (HUDs)
This is another feature that makes you feel like you are in the future. Heads-Up Displays are basically a projection of information onto the windshield so that driver doesn’t need to look down into the gauge cluster or the dashboard. Believe it or not, this technology has trickled down from fighter jets. Many HUDs can even display color and navigation right in front of your eyes on the windshield.
7. Driver Drowsiness Detection
Fatigue is one of the leading causes of accidents worldwide and unfortunately the cause behind thousands of fatalities annually. This, however, might soon be a thing of the past due to advanced safety features like Driver Drowsiness Detection. This system uses sensors and cameras pointed at the driver’s face and they constantly monitor different criteria like blinks-per-minute or lane monitoring to determine how alert the driver is. If signs of sleep are detected, the system will send out a warning through visual or other means to snap the driver into focus. Some systems will even slow down the car if the driver fails to respond.
6. Gesture and Voice Control
The infotainment system present in modern cars might look daunting and as complex as a full-fledged computer. Gesture and Voice control make things easy and aim to reduce distractions while on the road. These systems allow you to directly communicate to the infotainment system in the car just like a smartphone. You can put in navigation destination, adjust climate control, call your loved ones just by saying it out loud. However, this system requires some time to get used to, but once you get into the loop suddenly all the traditional controls will feel dated.
5. Reverse Assist
Imagine you are traversing down a narrow street just to find yourself stuck at a dead end. Now you have to reverse all the way back while avoiding all the obstacles. Reverse Assist systems come at play here. These systems memorize the steering adjustments and the path you took to reach that dead end. And they will essentially trace back the same path and reverse your car out of the situation.
4. Parking Assist
Back then if you could perfectly park your car into a parallel parking space, you were considered a skilled driver. However, parking into these spaces has become as easy as a flick of a switch. With the Park Assist System offered as options on many new cars, it is dead easy to park even in the tightest of spots. These systems use a combination of sensors, cameras, and radar to not only find a suitable parking spot for your vehicle but also park the car itself without any input from the driver. Brands like Mercedes and Tesla are at the forefront of this technology. The newest Mercedes S-Class can basically maneuver itself through a parking spot until it finds a good enough parking space. However, this tech has trickled down to consumer cars like the Chevrolet Tahoe and even the 2021 Ford F-150.
3. Adaptive Cruise Control
Back in the 2000’s we had cruise control as the ultimate feature. All it did was keep the car within a particular speed limit so that you could take your foot off the gas. Now, Adaptive Cruise Control has taken its place. The Adaptive Cruise Control system utilizes a system of forward-facing radars and cameras to calculate the speed of the vehicle ahead of you. It will automatically slow down and speed up your car to match the vehicle ahead while maintaining a safe distance. This technology was first introduced in luxury cars like the Mercedes Benz S-Class, but since it has trickled down in family cars like the 2021 Toyota RAV4.
2. Blind Spot Monitoring
Another leading cause of accidents is a collision with vehicles present in the blind spot of a driver. It is the section behind the driver that cannot be covered by the rearview mirror or the side mirrors thus creating a blind spot where is it easy to miss a vehicle. Blind Spot Monitoring Systems uses cameras and sensors present in the rear to keep an eye out in the blind spot and alert the driver if it detects a vehicle entering or exiting the blind spot. Blind Spot Monitoring also comes with Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring systems that help you reverse out and while being safe from cross traffic.
1. Autonomous Driving
By far the craziest feature on this list, Autonomous Driving is the ultimate form of driving and feels like something out of a sci-fi film from the ’80s. Cars like Tesla, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz can essentially drive themselves once the system is turned on. The latest systems on Tesla allow you to relax for hours and hours on the highway. The car will steer itself, brake, accelerate and do everything that you do just better. Stay tuned for more info on the latest technology and the latest cars at CarIndigo.com