Technology is an increasingly important part of the automotive experience, making it more fun, comfortable, and safe for drivers and passengers. Here are five essential tech features to look for in your next car:
1. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow you to integrate your smartphone with your car’s infotainment system. This gives you access to your phone’s apps and features, such as making calls, sending messages, playing music, navigating, and using voice assistants.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported by most new cars, including even some affordable models. However, not all cars support wireless versions of these features, so be sure to check the specifications before you buy.
2. Reverse and surround cameras
Reverse and surround cameras can help you see objects, animals, and people outside the view of your rear and side-view mirrors, making parking and maneuvering easier and safer.
Reverse cameras are becoming increasingly common in even budget cars, while surround cameras are more common in higher-end models. However, there are also after-market reverse and surround camera systems available.
3. Keyless entry and electronic boot release
Keyless entry allows you to open and close your car doors and boot without taking out your key. Electronic boot release allows you to open the boot by pressing a button on your remote or swiping your foot under the rear of the car.
Keyless entry and electronic boot release are convenient features that can make your life easier. However, be aware that keyless entry thefts have become a security problem in recent years. Car manufacturers are working to counter this, but it’s still something to be aware of.
4. Adaptive or semi-autonomous cruise control
Adaptive cruise control maintains a safe following distance to the car in front of you by slowing down and braking automatically as needed. Semi-autonomous cruise control adds lane-keeping assistance to the package, which helps to keep your car in the center of the lane.
Adaptive and semi-autonomous cruise control systems can make long road trips more comfortable and reduce fatigue. However, it’s important to note that these systems are not fully autonomous, and you should always be prepared to take control of the car.
5. Adaptive driving beams or matrix headlights
Adaptive driving beams and matrix headlights are intelligent headlights that can change the direction of their beams to avoid blinding other drivers. This allows you to keep your high beams on more often, giving you better visibility in the dark.
Adaptive driving beams and matrix headlights are more expensive features, but they can make night driving much safer.
These are just a few of the many tech features available in new cars today. When choosing a new car, be sure to consider the features that are most important to you and your budget.