These days, there are people who can’t drive a car without the presence of the essential car technologies. The fact is most drivers at present don’t really have a feel for a car with manual gearbox. They simply have to drive an auto transmission. Let us embrace car technologies and share with you on why we can’t live without it…
In the near future, car will be driven entirely on electric power, as most prominent car companies are producing electric cars for the masses. We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Tesla, BMW e, Mercedes’ EQC and the Hyundai IONIQ.
How has Car tech evolved in the last 20 years
Over the past two decades, car technology has come a long way from smart features to driver’s assistive systems, including smart keys and entertainment systems, for example, built-in tablets, speakers and head units.
We’ll start with Android Auto or CarPlay connectivity. This feature is customary for all vehicles from low costs to high-ends. It enables connectivity of a smart device to the car’s touchscreen, ranging from 7” to 12.3”. Some cars offer only Carplay, while others offer connectivity for both platforms. Android Auto and Carplay is part of the car’s infotainment system.
Another feature of the infotainment is navigation and the digital instrument cluster with a smaller display screen. Infotainment systems these days can be operated by voice or hand gestures, like a typical smartphone.
Assistance systems help save lives
Most cars, especially higher up the price plateau, come with a multitude of assistance systems from mitigation collision warning to intuitive emergency braking. These systems not only help protect or mitigate accidents, but possibly save lives as well.
Although the latest driver assistance systems serve as a perfect back-up to cover occasional human errors but they are not complete substitutes. One such assistance system is the Adaptive Cruise Control, an example of a system with a built-in stop and go function. It takes the collaboration of 30 control units to analyze the surrounding environment of the vehicle. The cruise control regulates the speed according to the distance between the car and the vehicle in front.
Relevant to a car’s active and passive safety requirements include these core systems: Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Parking Assistant or Automatic Parking Assist, Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Cameras and Wi-Fi hotspot. Below we’ll break down the functionality of each feature.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA): RCTA is primarily used to aid parking. It assists driver to back out from a parking spot and view the back of the car. It detects oncoming vehicles from right or left. When available, RCTA becomes active when the car hits the reverse gear. Visuals usually appear on the dashboard’s touchscreen, a rear view camera or side mirror.
Lane Departure Warning Systems: As an advanced safety technology, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) alerts drivers when they unintentionally drift out of their lanes without a turn signal. It’s important to note that LDWS does not take full control of the vehicle or keep the driver from operating it.
LDWS works with the car’s camera to monitor lane markings and detect when a vehicle is moving out of its lane. When it detects that a vehicle is veering out of its lane, an alert warns the driver of the unintentional lane shifts so the driver could steer the vehicle back into the correct lane.
Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEBS): AEBS detect an impending forward crash with another vehicle in time to avoid or mitigate the crash. These systems first alert the driver to take corrective action to avoid the crash. If the driver’s response is not sufficient to avoid the crash, the AEBS may automatically apply the brakes to assist in preventing or reducing the severity of a crash. In premium car models, AEBS also include Dynamic Brake Support (DBS) and Crash Imminent Braking (CIB). AEBS not only mitigate crashes but potentially help save lives.
Parking Assistant or Automatic Parking: Park Assist works by using front and rear sensors. The sensors primarily consist of ultrasonic or electromagnetic proximity sensors usually mounted in the rear bumper. Nowadays, park assist works automatically by using a button on the dash or through the infotainment system, such as the one available on the New Proton X50.
Automatic Parking Assist uses ultrasonic sensors located at the vehicle’s front, rear and sides to detect a parking spot. The system is designed to help you park alongside a detected vehicle or vehicles. The system then automatically steers your vehicle into a detected spot while moving at idle speed. It uses automatic steering, while you select Drive and Reverse gears and remove your hands from the steering wheel as instructed.
Car cameras came a long way from the first reverse camera at the turn of the century. These days, cameras are mounted in the front, reverse and side of the car. A car camera is meant to monitor surroundings and works more effectively compared to sensors.
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Dashcam is a popular equipment in cars, of late. It provides automatic and continuous recording of any visual events with audio. The recordings are generally used as key evidence if a dispute occurs during collisions or accidents. DVR is also used to save clips from your journey and sceneries.
Lastly, Wi-Fi hotspot for cars is becoming increasingly popular as more and more automakers are incorporating this modern, updated technology into their cars. Now, cars can access the internet and even become a WiFi hotspot. There are several ways to enable Wi-Fi hotspot in your car: smart phone or tablet, in-car Wi-Fi enabling system and 4G LTE wireless connectivity, soon it’ll be 5G.