As demonstrated by the interest of automakers in the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, automotive technology is evolving at a rapid pace. While there are many new technological features that have spread across several models and have proven to be a must have when purchasing a new vehicle, there are still more innovations to come and can be found on some models. , but not all. Here is a list of new technological advancements to note.
- Digital key
The digital key allows you to use your smartphone to function as the key to your car. Once configured through the car manufacturer’s phone app, your smartphone can unlock, start and lock the car. The phone itself doesn’t even need to be unlocked, just hold it next to the door handle and it’s recognized via Near Field Communication (NFC). To start the car, the phone usually needs to be placed in the wireless charging cradle in the center console. The digital key also allows the car owner to share access to the car, including during defined periods, or can authorize access to the trunk but not to the ignition.
Available now on: Hyundai Sonata, Lincoln, BMW, Tesla
- Remote parking assistance
Remote Park Assist allows the driver to stand outside the car and guide it into or out of a tight parking space. The driver must be a few meters from the vehicle and use either the remote control or the car’s smartphone app to control the vehicle’s movements. If the driver releases the forward or reverse button, the car will stop.
The systems are generally designed to enter or exit a parking space directly, although they may steer slightly to avoid hitting an object. If he is unable to walk around an object, the vehicle will stop to avoid him. Not only is Remote Parking Aid a great party trick, but it can also be a boon for those who often park in tight spaces or whose garage does not have enough space to open the parking door. the car.
Compared to systems offered by other manufacturers, Tesla’s Smart Summon function promises much superior functionality. Concretely, a Tesla equipped with the functionality is able to extract itself from a parking space and go autonomously to the owner of the vehicle, who must hold down a “Come to me” button on the smartphone application. . Conversely, maintaining a “Go to target” button allows the car to park independently in a designated space. But Tesla’s more complex feature set has proven problematic in practice.
Available now on: Hyundai Sonata and Nexo, BMW 7 Series and 5 Series, Tesla (Smart Summon)
- Blind spot camera
A blind spot camera shows video feed looking rearward to the side of the car when a turn signal is activated, giving the driver a view of what would typically be in the blind spot.
Honda introduced the first system, which it calls LaneWatch. It works on the right side of the car and projects the camera feed to the center touchscreen. The system now available on select Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models does it better, as their technology works on both sides of the car and projects its image directly in front of the driver, in the digital dashboard.
Available now on: Honda Clarity, Civic, Fit, HR-V and Insight; Hyundai Sonata and Palissade; Kia K900 and Telluride; Genesis G90
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Many drivers enjoy using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which places a screen version of the paired smartphone on the vehicle’s infotainment screen. In most cars, however, the smartphone must be physically connected to the car via a USB cable.
Now, car manufacturers are making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available wirelessly. The wireless function works through the vehicle’s Wi-Fi access point. Note that not all Android phones will be able to take advantage of this: Pixel and Nexus phones require Android 8.0 or higher, while Samsung units must run 9.0 or higher.
Available now on: Audi A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7, Q8, e-tron (CarPlay); Current BMW and Mini (CarPlay); BMW of the mid-2020 model year (Android Auto); Ford with Sync 4; Porsche Macan, Cayenne, 911 (CarPlay)
- Augmented reality navigation
Augmented reality navigation uses feed from a front camera to enhance the navigation system. The camera feed completes the map on the navigation screen. On the video image are superimposed the names of the streets, the addresses and an arrow indicating where to turn. It facilitates delicate navigation maneuvers because the image on the navigation system matches exactly what you see through the windshield.
Now available on: Mercedes-Benz models with MBUX interface
- Wet mode
While many cars with selectable drive modes include a setting for wet or slippery conditions, Porsche’s Wet Mode which debuts on the new 911 is the first in which the car automatically detects wet pavement and alerts the driver. .
Using sensors in the front wheel arches, the system determines how much water is on the road. If hydroplaning is possible, it sends a warning to the driver to enter wet mode. This mode recalibrates the stability and traction control systems, changes throttle mapping and torque distribution, and reduces the degree of rear differential lock. It also adjusts the rear spoiler for more downforce.
Available now on: Porsche 911
- Hybrid supercharging systems
Hybrid supercharging systems combine a 48-volt mild hybrid system with a gasoline engine. 48-volt systems tackle a multitude of functions, but the most notable from a handling standpoint is that they can supplement the power of the gasoline engine and improve response thanks to the immediate availability of torque from the electric motor. .
The Jeep and Ram system, called eTorque, increases torque up to 90 lb-ft with the 3.6-liter V6 (Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler) and 130 lb-ft with the 5.7-liter V8 (Ram 1500 ), but this extra output does not increase peak torque, but only increases midrange output. In the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (Jeep Wrangler), eTorque’s extra muscle is not quantified.
The Mercedes-Benz system, called EQ Boost, boosts total horsepower, adding 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque in brief bursts. It is paired with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 (in the 450 and 53 models) or a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (in the GLE 580, GLE 63 S, GLS 63 and GLS 600).
Available now on: Ram 1500; Jeep Wrangler; Mercedes-Benz GLE 450, GLE 580, GLS 450; Mercedes-AMG CLS 53, E 53, GLE 53, GT 53, 2021 GLE 63 S, 2021 GLS 63; Mercedes Maybach GLS 600
- Exit warning to protect cyclists
This system uses the same cameras that activate the blind spot warning function. When the driver or passenger is about to open a door, this system warns if a vehicle or even a cyclist is approaching from behind. The exit warning can trigger an alert or briefly deactivate the interior door handle to prevent an occupant from opening the door into the path of an oncoming vehicle or cyclist.
Available now on: Hyundai Palisade, Santa Fe, Elantra, Sonata; Genesis G90; Kia Telluride and K900; Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Sport; Land Rover Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport; Jaguar I-Pace; Mercedes-Benz GLA 2021
- Transparent video technology
Cameras that can show what is immediately in front of the car to facilitate parking are increasingly common, but transparent video technology takes this idea a step further. Available on select Land Rover and Range Rover models, the system, which the company calls ClearSight Ground View, displays a video feed of what’s happening in front of the car.
What’s unique is that the system uses information from multiple cameras to create a virtual view, the perspective of which approximates what the driver would see if the vehicle’s front sheet were transparent. The image includes an outline to show where the front of the car is and has overlays indicating the front wheels.
The system is useful in off-road driving situations where exact tire placement is important.
Available now on: Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Defender, Range Rover Evoque
- Rearview mirror with camera
The interior mirror goes high tech with this innovation, whereby the driver can switch between a standard mirror image and a power supply from a rear camera. In the latter mode, the rear view mirror camera displays a wider viewing angle, although the images are smaller. Another advantage of the camera view is that it is not obstructed by blind spots caused by the rear pillars, rear seat occupants or bulky cargo. An extension of this feature incorporates a trailer mounted camera for an unobstructed view to the rear.
Available now on: all Cadillacs except CT4, Nissan Armada, Infiniti QX80, Toyota RAV4 and Highlander, Land Rover Defender and Discovery Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XE, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban