Innovative technology has always played a major part in new cars. If you remember a time when basic cruise control was mind-blowing, then the concept of lane keep assist will blast your head clean off your shoulders.
Every new car has to be offered with the latest and greatest tech, but not all of it is necessary. You can check out some of the pointless features clogging up cabins here, but if you’re in the market for a new car, you may be wondering which tech is absolutely vital in 2018.
Well, as it’s National Technology Day this week (January 6th), we’re shining a spotlight on tech you should expect – nay, demand – from your next car.
We’re starting basic. Stop sniggering. They may be the most primitive feature on this list, but never underestimate the importance of decent cupholders. The next time you’re looking for somewhere to stash your piping hot americano, you’ll thank the gods for these handy cubbies.
Parking sensors and reversing camera
You might be a seasoned pro when it comes to parallel parking, but not everyone is and that’s kinda why we need parking sensors.
Jokes aside, even confident drivers can appreciate the assurance provided by parking sensors and a rear-facing camera; your car’s paintwork might be thankful too.
Almost everyone has a phone with Bluetooth capability these days and because using your phone whilst driving is not only dangerous and morally vacant, but a recent law change means it can now land you with six penalty points and a £200 fine (maxing out at £1,000 if the matter goes to court).
There’s more to it than simply talking to your nearest and dearest without having to pull over though; in most cases, you can stream your music through your car stereo via Bluetooth too.
Some form of cruise control
Sure, ‘cruise’ has been about for yonks, but anyone likely to hit a motorway will quickly appreciate the option of giving their right foot a rest while they rack up the miles.
Of course, the idea has been adapted and advanced over time and, these days, systems use sensors in the front bumper to monitor the traffic ahead, slowing the car down if the vehicle in front comes too close.
Autonomous emergency braking
Tying nicely into the previous point, the same sensors that make adaptive cruise control a reality are used in self-braking systems – known more officially as autonomous emergency braking or AEB.
It may not sound as cool as a fancy tablet-esque touchscreen or motion-sensing controls, but the unpredictable nature of life out on the road means that your car can now tell that it’s time to slam on the brakes before you do, and it could save your life.
Blind spot awareness
Again, not all the most essential tech is cool and blind spot awareness is another potential lifesaver.
The idea of having a little light pop on in your A-pillar when a vehicle veers into your blind spot can be very reassuring and boost driver confidence.
What kind of kit do you absolutely need in your car? Tell us down there in the comments.