From the controversial politics of the US election and Brexit, and the ridiculous obsessions with Harambe and Pokémon Go, to the downright shocking news of Leo finally getting an Oscar – 2016 has been an interesting year to say the least.
And when it comes to the automotive industry, the steady flow of buzz-worthy news has had no shortage.
The Canadian International AutoShow has compiled a list of 2016’s best car features and tech reveals that are sure to get any engine purring.
The great thing about automobile tech is it does not have to be the biggest or flashiest innovation to make the list. It is often the smaller, more finessed inventions that win the race.
Here are some of the most noteworthy car features and technology releases of 2016:
Advanced Gesture Control – Volkswagen
The VW Advanced Gesture Control feature allows for effortless infotainment control. Rather than physically turning knobs or pressing buttons, the control system allows you to wave your hand in the general vicinity of the dash to control volume, stations, or really anything your heart desires.
Advanced Navigation System – Harman
Love the Waze app? Well, the Harman Advanced Navigation system is like Waze…on steroids. The system not only tracks traffic, parking and road hazard information; it also uses traction control, stability and windshield wiper technology to identify when roads are wet or dangerous. Once one HAN user experiences poor driving conditions, the system will share the information with other HAN-equipped vehicles to avoid problem areas.
Precision Cockpit – Acura
Skeptical of autonomous cars? The Precision Cockpit has dual LCD screens and precision tracking to mimic how autonomous cars think, while still giving the driver full control of the vehicle. The driver screen will show the vehicle’s speed, but also how the car sees and thinks–predicting potential hazards and notifying the driver before harm can come to anyone. The other LCD screen, located in the center of the dash, is far enough away that the driver is not distracted trying to touch it; instead, the trackpad by the gear shift controls the car’s temperature, music, etc.
The Touch Control Steering Wheel – Mercedes Benz E-Class
To make things simple for even the least tech-savvy reader, the Touch Control Steering Wheel essentially works like an iPhone. There are two sections on either side of the wheel that the driver can swipe to control the menu. This technology was developed to reduce distracted driving risks.
Perfect Position Seat – Lincoln
Long drives got you down? Fear no more. The Perfect Position Seat is guaranteed to mold to any body shape or weight. As an added perk, the seat will not just warm your tush–it will cool and massage your body as you see fit. Have a problem area? The seat will address one side of your body while leaving the other side relaxed.
Rear Camera Mirror – Chevy Bolt
Ever worry that you are going to hit a car in your blind spot when changing lanes? Lucky for you, the new Rear Camera Mirror functions to eliminate vision barriers. The mirror creates a 180-degree view as if the driver is enclosed in a transparent vehicle.
DOT and FDA-Approved Headlights – Audi
Laser beam high beams–whoah! The DOT and FDA-Approved Headlights are lasers which produce sharp, focused light using sensors to detect oncoming cars or city lights. If detected, the lasers will adjust accordingly.
Bed Stereo System – Honda Ridgeline
Whether you are prepping for this year’s country music festival or merely looking to listen to some music while sitting out front on your patio, the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck Bed Stereo System is a new way to listen to music with ease. The system has a 540-watt stereo and 400-watt power inverter bound to knock the socks off any auto or music enthusiast. How awesome would this be at the drive in!?
Amazon Echo – Ford
While everyone is jumping on the Amazon Alexa train, Ford is using Amazon Echo in a new way–or rather, a multi-directional way. Ford’s Amazon Echo app will allow drivers to control their car from their home and their home from their car.
See Jane Go
One of the biggest complaints about ride sharing is worrying about getting into a vehicle with a stranger. It seems women are particularly uneasy. The small startup company, See Jane Go, is an all-female ride share program: all female drivers, all female passengers. The only way a man can get in the car is if he is with a female companion.
Not a frequent driver but own a car? Turo allows you to rent out your car to the public. It is basically like an Airbnb, but for your vehicle. It might not be for everyone, but it sure creates quite a stir.
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