Gizmos and Gadgets Galore

If you are afraid of newfangled things, the current automotive market is probably minefield of stress. Today’s cars are the Swiss army knife of transportation. Even economical vehicles are now manufactured with navigational systems, satellite radio, high-quality surround sound, and Bluetooth know-how.

Technology is driving the new car market. Today’s drivers will need another level of skill when behind the wheel so that they can interact and properly use the features. A one lesson does not necessarily fit all, each model, each brand will have their own gadgets that work differently from other cars out there, with perhaps, similar features.

And it is not just the drivers who have the challenge of this new frontier of technological transportation, automakers must also continue to strive and keep abreast of one another, doing so in their own way. So here are some of the treats in the candy store dealership lot;

  • Volvo’s “Run off road protection system” was designed to limit injuries to the passenger should the vehicle go off the road; the front seat belts will first automatically tighten up. The seats have been designed to be energy-absorbing so as to shield your spine from an aggressive impact.
  • Ford has the “SYNC system” first out in 2007 and now the 2015 “Hand-free lift gate”.SYNC is comprised of Bluetooth and MP3 technology, voice-activated phone dialling, contact synchronization, and turn-by-turn audio directions. While carrying the keys, softly position your foot under the back bumper and lift gate will opens or close.
  • BMW’s “Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection” can see whatever lies on the road ahead that you cannot; the infrared equipment can detect it in any lighting condition. The camera scans up to 300+ metres in front of the car and sends that image to the LCD monitor in the car.
  • Infiniti has come out with what it calls the “Predictive forward collision warning system” Potential dangers that the driver cannot yet see become a warning signal within the vehicle. Using visual and easy to hear indicators, the system cautions the driver when a change in the speed of the car directly in front and the car in front of that one changes.
  • GM comes to the table with In-car Wi-Fi, OnStar with 4G LTE. Both inside and around the vehicle is a built in hotspot as well as the ability to connect up to seven devices at once. The mobile data network is fast and has the power to support laptops, tablets, the kids’ video game consoles or Mom’s smartphone.

All of these innovations are not without their troubles. Whether the car companies initially did not consider it or underestimated the risk, these myriad technological advances, especially Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability, has created the next playing field for hackers. Every car on the market today has some wireless entry point. Any of these could be a way for hackers to get in. Remote car starters, anti-theft systems or keyless entries can all be manipulated by hackers.

Most certainly automakers will create security systems for such events as they become an increasing problem. Till then, happy gadget-ting.