5 of the Coolest Tech Innovations for Cars
By Amy Molthan
Car Tech is always an interesting field, as it comes out you have to wonder if it will disappear or become the next hot feature in newer cars. I am not going to list obvious car tech such as heated and cooled seats, in car WI-FI, or in car screen systems for viewing entertainment. I feel these have been around long enough to call them standard features or something that is most likely to stay in the future.
There are a lot of things being developed right now, some useful, some make you wonder why they think that is needed in a car at all. While some of us prefer our car to get us from point A to B, others use the car as an office or place to escape. Let’s look at some new innovations that might make you raise an eyebrow or run out the door to buy a car with this feature.
- Heated & Cooled cup holders: Yes, this is real. And if you are lucky enough to drive a high-end luxury car (over $60,000) it is likely to be in one of the premium packages, like the one you find on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL350. But no worries for those that can’t afford the price tag, once these features pop-up in the luxury lines it is a matter of time before they trickle down to other makes and models.
- Another new technology being put into cars is auto anti-collision systems. Nissan has their BR23C system that is modelled off of the way that bees avoid obstacles. Volvo introduced an anti-collision system in its XC60. If the system detects you are getting to close to another object and the driver does not respond in time the car will do it for you. This means steering you to avoid the collision and braking.
- This one is my personal favorite; heated massaging seats. That’s right, now you can skip the questionable seats in the mall and just sit in your car! Just imagine all the days stresses melting away with your nice hot stone massage, or perhaps you prefer a Swedish massage, no? Maybe a shiatsu is your forte. You can find these additions in the Audi A8, as well as in models of Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars. These systems are integrated into the seats, the real deal, and not to be confused with those lighter portable ones, which by the way, can get pretty fancy too.
- Self-shutting doors. This sounds a little crazy, let’s not forget those automatic seatbelts from the 90’s. But think about those self-shutting cabinets in the kitchen everyone has now, they don’t seem necessary but are so nice. The BMW 740 features doors you simply shut and then the system seals the deal for you. This would be a great feature for families with kids who sometimes slam fingers in doors, for the elderly, or for those of thus that have no hand-eye coordination and slam our own hands in the door routinely.
- Night vision, yes I said night vision. Remember KIT? Well even if you don’t, things are getting seriously high tech these days and the BMW 7 series leads the way by detection people and animals that might be crossing your path in the dark before the human eye is able to see them and alerting the driver.
There are a lot crazier things being developed like a warm air forcefield that blows out over the top of passengers in convertibles so that cooler temperatures outside don’t touch them. And Lexus has a build in mouse controller for interacting with technology in the car in hopes to lessen distractions of their built-in dashboard technology. At this stage, most of these features are in higher-end automakers vehicles, but if they become popular you just might see them in your Toyota Corolla some day. One thing is for certain, tech is being introduced into cars in more ways than it has in the past and we are certain to see a lot of wonderful and strange things to come.