Steering avoidance systems automatically swerve to move around objects in the road or to keep your car in the middle of the lane. While this is more of a safety feature than cool new car tech, it’s one that could save your life. Steering avoidance may not be pretty to look at or fun to play with, but you’ll be glad you have it in the event of a near-accident or collision.
Vehicle manufacturers predict fully self-driving cars to be on the road as early as 2020 or as late as 2030. It depends on which one you ask. But semi-autonomous driving features are already on the road. Driver assistance packages vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, with their primary goal being to combat human error while driving.
The Tesla Model S is one of the most well-known semi-autonomous cars and can simultaneously control steering and speed without driver intervention. Less advanced semi-autonomous features (or what the car tech industry calls Level 1) include adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Look for semi-autonomous driving features on the 2019 Volvo XC60, 2019 Audi A8, 2018 Tesla Model S, and 2018 Cadillac CT6, to name a few. You can also find semi-autonomous features on more affordable cars, like the 2018 Honda Civic and some Toyota Corolla and RAV4 crossovers.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
It’s time to wave goodbye to the aux cord you’ve come to know and love. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect your phone to your vehicle’s infotainment screen. Automakers are starting to offer it wirelessly so you can access your phone’s music, messaging, contacts, and navigation apps through the screen on your vehicle. You’ll be able to do almost anything you can do on your smartphone (like an Internet search) on your vehicle’s display. This feature isn’t as shiny and new as semi-autonomous driving, but it has come a long way since it was first introduced a few years ago.
Have you come to rely on your car’s backup camera? What if you could see what’s going on around all sides of your car? The 360-degree camera makes Kelley Blue Book’s list of best automotive technologies of 2019. This new feature combines camera feeds from every side of your vehicle to give you a top-down view of your surroundings. You’ll be able to see the cars on either side of you as you pull out of a parking spot, or what’s happening on the sidewalk as you make a right-hand turn. If you’re prone to dinging and denting your car, put this feature at the top of your new car tech wish list!
Look for 360-degree cameras on the Nissan Murano SL, Infiniti Qx30 Sport, Kia Cadenza Limited, and the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate.
Stolen Vehicle Tracking
Auto theft isn’t a thing of the past. Motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 237.4 per 100,000 people in 2017, reports the Insurance Information Institute.
This new technology aims to help curb that stat. It’s like the “Find iPhone” feature on an Apple smartphone, but for your car. If your sweet ride is stolen and has this vehicle tracking system, the car will be able to tell law enforcement where it’s being held.
This new car tech comes standard on many new cars, but be prepared to pay for a subscription if you want your service to continue after the free trial. Volvo and Ford offer vehicle tracking for free. Other manufacturers charge $80 to $230 per year.
Here's more on how to prevent car theft.
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