Useful Car Tips

New Car Tech & Convenience Features

July 19, 2019
It’s a great time to be in the market for a new or like-new car in 2019, with everything from safety technology to fuel economy constantly being developed and refined. Technology has rapidly progressed, with cars from even the past decade lacking many of the technology and convenience features we’ve become acquainted with and have come to expect from new releases. Features like remote start, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technology offered in new cars. The best part? Most of these features aren’t just limited to expensive luxury cars, meaning even those of us on a tighter budget can get the experience and convenience of using these features. Let’s take a closer look at some that you’ll likely see in your next new car purchase.


It’s a simple feature on paper, perhaps even seeming like a gimmick to some. However, its simplicity belies its utility. Cold winter day? Remotely start up your car from inside your home, no need to sit in the cold while the car warms up! Need to be ready to drive as soon as you get in your car, but have to finish up a quick task first? No problem, just start up your car remotely and it’ll be ready to go as soon as you get inside. It’s a useful feature offered in many modern cars and well worth your consideration.


A head-up display, or HUD, is a transparent display which projects pertinent information—such as speed, the gear you’re in, and even navigation instructions—onto the area of your windshield above your steering wheel, or alternatively onto a combiner (which may be retractable). As with remote start functionality, a head-up display might not seem like a completely necessary feature. In practice however, a HUD allows you to view this important information without taking your eyes off the road to glance down at your speedometer or tachometer. Especially when driving at night or at high speed, even a momentary glance away from the road can be dangerous.


Adaptive cruise control, or ACC, is a level 1 autonomous driving system which works in a manner similar to standard cruise control, but with one key difference: it automatically modulates braking and acceleration so as to maintain a set distance behind the car in front of you. It’s an excellent feature if you often use highways for commuting, as it makes driving through both congested and uncongested traffic a breeze. While standard cruise control is a useful feature in its own right, adaptive cruise control can take your commute to another level of convenience.


As we all know, distracted driving due to texting or otherwise using a phone is a dangerous issue on our roads. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are two programs which help rectify this issue, essentially mimicking the functions of your phone and using your vehicle’s infotainment screen to transmit the information to you. They both allow you to access your favorite music, make calls, and even answer texts through voice commands without ever having to take your hands off the wheel. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers presently support these systems, but they are still certainly features worthy your consideration with your next car purchase.


As the name suggests, parking cameras are small cameras strategically located on a vehicle’s exterior which aid in parking. These cameras give you a direct view of areas of your vehicle that your mirrors simply can’t show; mainly the front and rear bumper. This is crucial, for instance, when reversing in tight areas where vision is limited and unforeseen objects may cause damage to your vehicle. Similarly, a front-mounted camera can show how close you really are to the car parked in front of you when pulling into a tight parking spot. Parking cameras are an invaluable tool to avoid unnecessary damage to your vehicle, as any major scratch or dent will cost you both time and money out of pocket. These cameras are quite uncommon on older cars, as backup cameras only became mandatory—by US law—in all new cars produced in 2018 (and beyond).


Remote start, adaptive cruise control, parking cameras; they’re perhaps not necessary for every driver, but will certainly be a welcome addition to your commute. These features have emerged on the market over the past few vehicle generations, and are now commonly available on even non-luxury vehicles, and for good reason: They’re suited for any driver, regardless of age or experience, and offer you a mix of safety and convenience that simply no older car can match.
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