Auto Tech: Necessary or Needy?
Imagine you’re driving down the street. You pull up beside another car whose driver who has absolutely zero interest in what his car is doing, and yet the car is in perfect control as he works on a paper. Well…that’s how I imagine it. We aren’t exactly in the era of hands-free driving yet, but we’re getting there. Intrigue has grown in the auto industry world, and big companies are always searching for ways to enhance our driving experience. Whether it’s through safety or convenience, cars are constantly being upgraded and plugged in for cool new features to get you where you’re going while you get your work done too.
In terms of safety, many cars are already equipped with a lot of new auto tech features that signal unsafe lane changes, notify you of icy roads and enhance lighting for better vision. CNET posted a recent video discussing recent changes to the ever-popular blind spot notification in cars, as some of the present programs aren’t quite up to par yet. Infiniti and Mercedes manufacturers are enhancing their blind spot assistance by allowing cars to actually shift away from vehicles in other lanes without having to notify you at all. For example, when becoming too close to the cars in the lane left of you, your front and rear right-side wheels will automatically break, easing the car away from the left lane; no need for confusing sounds and lights, the car takes care of it. Something even more interesting is in the works with the Jaguar Land Rover, as they attempt to remove the visual problem with the B-pillars in cars (The space between the front and rear side windows). The technology is attempting to make them more transparent, so that you are able to see approaching cars around you more easily.
Not only are these innovative cars using technology to become safer, but they’re also allowing companies like Apple to put their popular systems to incredible use. You may not have heard of it, but Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system has been available for the better part of the year, allowing various iOS features to be run through voice activation. Ferrari was the first manufacturer to install it, followed by Volvo and Audi. Apple’s Tim Cook shared recently that most manufacturers will offer the system in the near future as well. CarPlay allows drivers to have a simplified visual of their own iPhones in the vehicle, with previous history of map locations, music and contacts available through voice activation. It’s essentially just another way for drivers to feel constantly connected to their beloved iPhones, but it also offers a safer solution to those trying to use their actual phones while on the road.
For Hyundai lovers, an update has been made to its Blue Link app, which is downloadable through Google Play. The Blue Link is now compatible with Android Watches, which will be able to control many of the aspects of the Hyundai at the touch of your watch. Previously the app was only available with android phones. Use your watch to lock and unlock doors, flash the lights and request roadside assistance with the stylish feature; a slightly unnecessary but cool perk nonetheless. The Sonata was the first model to launch the Blue Link, with Hyundai coming out in 2013. This new app is the second-generation version, and can be found in the new Sonata, Genesis and Azera, according to the AutoBlog.
Safety and cool features seem to be the focus for manufacturers right now, linking cars with iPhones and Laptops and offering Wi-Fi in a lot of new models. The cool features essentially stem from the idea that people don’t want to be wasting time while their driving; if they’re able to get work done while on the go, then we need to at least offer these options in the safest way possible. Hands-free technology has definitely helped in this area, but I think it’s most important to keep focusing on safety features as more people hit the road with their phones and laptops increasingly accessible.1