5 Most Incredible New Car Features

Shirley Simspson writes for Cheap Car Insurance where you can compare rates and the find the best deals on auto insurance.

People often say that technology is advancing at an exponential rate (as in, our generation will generate twice the tech as our parents, our kids will generate four times as much, and so on and so forth).  And if you think about it, some of the technology available for cars today would have seemed like science fiction just ten or twenty years ago.  Take electric cars, for example.  The widespread availability of cars that can run independently of fossil fuels probably seemed like a pipe dream to the previous generation (if they even imagined such a thing).  So if you’re having trouble keeping up with the new advances in automotive technology that seem to pop up almost daily, here are a few of the latest features to wow you.

1.     HUD. Anyone familiar with video games will recognize this acronym (which stands for heads up display).  And it’s pretty much the same for cars.  Although still in infancy, this tech could soon be standard on vehicles (much like GPS was practically unheard of a few years ago and is now installed on just about every new car).  The idea is pretty simple: a graphic window showing your car’s vitals can be displayed on a portion of your windshield so that you never have to take your eyes off the road in order to see the gauges.

2.     OnStar. Okay, so this safety service isn’t new.  For several years this company has provided drivers with roadside assistance and the ability to remotely start, stop, or track a vehicle.  But they are adopting some new features in order to compete with similar services (such as Ford’s Sync system).  Thanks to a partnership with Android (read: Google) users will now be able to get apps for On Star, including the ability to access voice mail, email, and even Facebook, all while they’re driving.  It would be a pretty scary prospect if they hadn’t implemented the technology to make it an entirely auditory feature.

3.     XM NavTraffic. For those commuters who have yet to invest in XM Radio, now is the time.  Aside from their many stations (which won’t crap out during your drive like some local stations), they now offer a channel called NavTraffic which will alert you to accidents, closures, and gridlock in addition to showing you how to avoid it on your GPS.

4.     Solar-powered ventilation. This system is powered by solar panels located in the moon roof (at least on the Toyota Prius) and what it does is keep the cabin ventilated even when the car is off.  You know how you get in a car that’s been sitting in the sun and it feels like an oven?  Not anymore.  Now it will use the power of the sun to circulate air so that the car is never hotter than the outside air when you get inside.

5.     E-Cell engine. 100% electric engines are not new, but they are better than ever, so much so that most car manufacturers seem to be racing to get one into production for their lineup.  Many can travel hundreds of miles without a charge and offer the same comfort, speed, and acceleration of petrol-fueled cars (without the attendant pollution).