Car-shopping web site Edmunds.com reported yesterday that many expected “innovations of the future” are already available and they are being offered to consumers in increasingly more affordable car models and trim levels. High tech innovations used to be restricted to only the top-of-the-line models fully-loaded with options. Now manufacturers are beginning to push these advances into high-volume production vehicles so more drivers will be able to experience the new features.
A few of the latest and greatest technologies now available or coming soon include:
· Wi-Fi Hotspots–The 2013 Ram 1500's infotainment system has an available Uconnect Access upgrade for $505. The package includes a Sprint 3G cellular modem that provides a Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices up to 150 feet away. Uconnect Access is also available on the 2013 SRT Viper and is planned for the more affordable 2014 Jeep Cherokee. General Motors plans to equip most of its models with a 4G LTE modem that will also provide even faster Wi-Fi hotspots by 2015. Ford has offers Wi-Fi through vehicles equipped with MyFord Touch.
· Piloted Parking – Audi previewed a fully autonomous "piloted parking" technology that lets youleave the car running at a drop-off area in a specially designated parking lot, where you choose an open space with a smartphone app and let the car do all the work at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The vehicle uses Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) cameras to navigate the lot and park itself in the pre-determined space. Ford and Toyota sell vehicles that can steer themselves into a parking space with the driver manipulating the gas and brake pedals and backup cameras already make parallel parking much easier to manage.
· Easy-Fill Tire Alert– Properly inflated tires save gas and minimize vehicle wear and tear on any car. The 2013 Nissan Altima makes it easier to maintain air pressure in your tires without having to use a tire gauge. You connect the air compressor tube to the tire, and the Easy-Fill Tire Alert chirps the horn once the tire pressure reaches the recommended setting. The alert also works when letting the air out of an overfilled tire.
· Hydrophobic Windows– Hydrophobic glass treatments cause water to run together into larger droplets, removing dirt and preventing streaking and blotting. This technology was previously only available as an aftermarket treatment and is now available on the specially-treated side windows of the 2014 Kia Cadenza. Visibility in rainy weather is improved and it makes for easier drying after the car has been washed.
More details on these car improvements and other coming advancements are available in a full report from Edmunds.com, "Six Car Technologies that Will Simplify Your Life".
Edmunds New Car Technology