Embracing Automotive Technology

Allcarschannel.com’s guide offers some tips on how to embrace technology and let technology steer you safe and sound when driving a car.

In the age of everything Smart and Intuitive, technology becomes very apparent in everything we own, particularly in cars. The advent of the electrification gave birth to plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, as most of you are familiar with Teslas, BMW e, Mercedes’ EQC and more.

Electric cars are not yet a total reality, but it’s inevitable in due process. The current trend is all about mobile communication and navigation system. Several years ago, portable GPS systems like Garmin, TomTom and JRCX were a preferred choice when it comes to navigational help. Before long, a number of car brands would incorporate GPS or Navigation into their multimedia systems and rendered portables obsolete. In this country, however, people on ten-year old cars or more still use portable navi devices.  

These days, we are talking about linking up smartphones and devices to multimedia systems. You’ve probably heard of MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, if your ride is built from 2015 onwards. MirrorLink allows you to practically mirror your phone to the car’s touch display and utilize it. However, only a select number of manufacturers chose to include MirrorLink into the multimedia option due to cost and compatibility issues. Most manufacturers have CarPlay and Android Auto as standard or norm. Bluetooth, on the other hand, has been around for a longer time. Most users simply preferred Bluetooth over fancy CarPlay or A. Auto because it’s wireless. Whether you’re connecting your smartphone to blast tunes or looking for the nearest rest area, these have become a fundamental part of the daily drive for many of us.

The second important trend related to technology in cars is the Driver’s assistance or assistive systems. Before the arrival of Automated Driving, cars come with loads of assistance systems from mitigation collision warning to emergency mitigation braking. These systems not only help drivers, but possibly save pedestrians’ lives as well.   

Although the latest driver assistance systems serve as a perfect back-up to cover the occasional human failings but they are no substitutes for concentration. The driver must always remain connected to what is going on around them.

Do and Don’t on the road

Portable or built-in navigation aids gets you from A to B, but try to not become too reliant on it. It is important to pay attention to road signs and everything ahead, in case there’s a diversion sign that the device or app doesn’t pick up, especially in a confusing landscape like the Malaysian capital city. In order to avoid more confusion, get to know your navigation system, the built-in one in the car, a little better. It’s advisable to program your favorite destinations or to-go destination into the Nav system  before you set off. Many people trust their navi not to get them lost but you also need to know about roadworks, diversions and places to stop. Most people these days are too lazy to do that and rather rely on apps like waze or g maps. Cheaper cars simply can’t afford a built-in Navi, for that matter.

When on the road, focus on the road and don’t dabble with your music, tweeting, messaging, checking updates, etcetera. Remember it only takes a few seconds distraction to cause an accident. Do keep your music down, or off, in some circumstances;

Don’t make or take calls when driving and never text or engage with social media on your smartphone. Through extensive research it has been shown that making calls, even hands-free, affects concentration and slows reactions when driving.

Some vehicles have the ability to create a Wi-Fi zone allowing internet access. This should be used as a luxury for passengers whilst ensuring they do not distract you as the driver. For instance, a computer screen reflecting in the dark is a dangerous distraction.

Finally, multi-tasking is a myth and all too often that glance away could become a complete switch-off to an emerging risk. No text, tweet, check in or status update is worth crashing for.

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