Automotive technology has advanced very quickly in the past few years. It used to be the case that terms like "self-driving car" and "autonomous vehicle" were only found in science fiction. However, these terms now appear in real-life news stories on a regular basis.
Also, advanced auto tech is no longer limited to the luxury vehicle segment. Nowadays, some of the most affordable new cars on the market are equipped with advanced tech features. Recently, Autotrader compiled a list of these features that will be considered "must-have" for 2017.
Automotive Technology Features that are in High Demand
If you're in the market for a new vehicle, you'll have plenty of advanced tech to choose from. And here are a few features that are likely to show up on your wish list.
It's probably a good sign that much of the newer auto technology being developed is geared toward safety. In fact, the desire to make the roads safer seems to be the reason behind pushing the industry in the direction of fully self-driving vehicles.
- Advanced Self-Driving Capabilities: Completely self-driving cars are not available for purchase yet. But thanks to limited self-driving features, certain vehicles are much less reliant upon a human driver. Tesla, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are leading the pack with semi-autonomous feature packages.
- Autonomous Safety Features: Certain tech features aren't meant to drive the car, but to allow the car to take over in order to keep the driver safe. This technology includes options like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. And there's good news for budget-conscious buyers. Many of these features are now available on affordable compact cars like the Hyundai Elantra and the Mazda Mazda 3.
These types of highly advanced safety features can help when it comes to making the roads safer. But it's important for consumers to know how to use them. Better yet, it's crucial for drivers to understand their limitations.
Of course, while safety is important, drivers also want improved vehicle performance. Car buyers are demanding ride comfort, better engines and easier maintenance.
- Adaptive Suspension: No longer limited to the most elite sports cars, this feature can now be found in other types of cars. Adaptive suspension allows drivers to switch modes in order to meet the demands of almost any type of road.
- Electric Drivetrain: These types of engines offer both economic and performance benefits. So some version of electric drivetrains can be found on everything from exotic sports cars to minivans. Whether in fully electric or hybrid form, more and more drivers are opting for this feature.
- Car Care Apps: It's important to keep up with car maintenance. But it isn't always easy. Most people have a lot to keep up with in their everyday lives. So forgetting an oil change or tire rotation is all too easy. Now, however, several vehicle models are capable of reminding drivers that a service is due. Some can even schedule shop visits.
These features are still only available on higher-end models. But they are starting to trickle down to lower-priced cars.
There are plenty of consumers who spend a great deal of time in their cars. It makes sense that these drivers would crave automotive technology focused on easy and convenient entertainment.
- Larger Screens and More Screens: A huge touch screen is easier to use than a bunch of gauges and buttons. It's also a lot safer to use while driving. More vehicle models are being equipped with these convenient screens. They allow drivers to take full advantage of their infotainment systems while staying (mostly) focused on the task at hand.
- Gesture Control: To make operating infotainment systems even safer, some cars are equipped with gesture control. With this feature, drivers can simply wave or point at a button on a screen, and the system will engage.
Expect bigger screens to start showing up in vehicles in nearly every price range. Gesture control, on the other hand, is now only available in BMW models. But this, of course, is expected to change in the coming years.
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