Buying a new car? You would do well to spend less time looking under the hood and more time examining all the technology in a vehicle. Of course, the engine quality still matters, but more importantly is how you and your passengers interact with today’s increasingly sophisticated vehicles. To help new-car shoppers, like you, navigate available in-car features, Manheim have named the 8 Best Automotive Technologies of 2018.
In recent years technology has blossomed into one of the last great differentiators amongst competing models. The tech we’ve identified as the best for 2018 should be considered when searching for your next new vehicle. Regardless of price point, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a vehicle with most of them – and they’re all very helpful.
8 Best Automotive Technologies of 2018 from Manheim
Adaptive Cruise Control: By using an array of sensors built into the car, adaptive cruise control can match the speed of the car ahead, meaning you don’t need to be constantly hitting the accelerator and brake in highway traffic.
LED/Xenon Headlights: Headlights are one of the only things between drivers and a crash when driving at night, so we think better headlight tech is essential. Whether it’s LED bulbs that never need replacing or older but still-excellent xenon systems, illuminating the road is the best way to avoid nighttime collisions. Many luxury cars have “swiveling” bulbs that turn with the road to illuminate around corners, while auto-high beam systems will keep the vehicle from blinding other drivers while maximising the view of your surroundings.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto: Plug in a smartphone and it takes over that big screen, replacing it with something that looks a lot more similar to your phone and is easy to use. Basically, most manufacturers have promised support for at least one or both Apple and Google’s systems, but not all vehicles will have the function. Make sure to verify the car has the right options, and that it matches your preferred mobile devices.
USB Ports: A car full of people is a car full of devices, and everyone needs to keep their battery charged. So check and see how many USB ports the car has. Pretty much every new car comes with one or two, but they are essential to ensure your phone is charged in case you need it.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert: Thanks to sensors built into the rear of the car, the vehicle can alert you to approaching vehicles, shopping carts, or pedestrians who might wander behind the vehicle without you noticing.
Lane Departure Warning: Lane departure warning systems use cameras to determine if the car has drifted across a marked lane line, giving a visual or audible notification (or even a vibration through the seat or steering wheel) that you as a driver have moved too far out of the lane.
Automatic Emergency Braking: Automatic Emergency Braking or AEB uses a variety of sensors to determine an excepted forward collision and automatically applies the brakes to diminish the severity or avoid a crash entirely.
360-Degree Camera: By combining cameras on every side of the car with some clever computing power, the car’s display can show a virtual top-down view of the vehicle’s surroundings. The systems are getting cheaper and cheaper and is available on even moderately priced cars these days.
For information on more automotive technologies, including video and additional commentary, please visit our US Cox Automotive family member, Kelly Blue Book and read their article: https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/best-car-technologies/2100004818/