• Picture
  • 13 June 2019
    Facebook Social Media Logo
    Twitter Social Media Logo
    Google+ Social Media Logo

    Round-up of Advanced In-Car Technology



As you’re all aware from watching adverts on TV, seeing billboards as you drive the UK roads. Or you've sat in the actual vehicles as a driver or a passenger. Car cabins are becoming highly advanced and packed full of technology.


Just last week, Honda announced that the Honda e will be manufactured with side wing mirrors that are video cameras. The cameras record the outside surrounding view and project this on a large colour screen on the dashboard. We see this as a technology that will become a standard feature in many upcoming models.  


Remember when you could make your windows go up and down at a push of a button? We do, it was mind-blowing. No more winding windows by hand. Some people believed this would never become a standard feature in all production cars. Well, it did. Even seat belts weren’t a standard feature, not until Volvo released the patent and technology for free for all manufacturers to use. Well done Volvo.

So you see advancements in technology, do become a standard feature, even if we do feel they are too futuristic for 2019.


Let's go through some very futuristic sounding in-car technology that is now ‘as standard’ in many models available in the UK automotive market.

Night Vision


More commonly known to be used by the military on operation rather than in your neighbour's car. You may think why do cars need night vision? The advancements in headlight technology with Zenon LED lights really
illuminate the way while driving at night, but they only go so far.  What about what is in the road up-front, beyond the depths of the LED lights? There could be an obstacle in the road, an animal crossing the road or a pedestrian walking up the side of a country lane. They may not be seen till the very last minute due to the limitations of the LED headlights.


The clever people at DS Automobiles have designed a night vision system that uses an infrared camera that is mounted within the front grill. This will detect heat sources (humans, obstacles and animals) of up to 100m in front of your car.  The designers at DS have linked the infrared camera to an alarm system. If the camera detects a heat source, it will alert the driver with plenty of warning of the potential hazard waiting in the dark beyond the reach of the headlights.


You can find this as a standard feature in all-new DS cars. Check out the DS 3 and DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback

Wireless Car Charging


We are used to cables everywhere at home, by our beds, in the kitchen or coiled across the living room. As a society, we use our mobile phones for everything. This means you spend most of your life looking at that anxiety-inducing 10% battery icon in the top right, meaning you must charge your phone immediately. We are now even using our phone for in-car entertainment and as a navigation system, draining the battery life even more.


Gone are the days of having mobile phone charging cables in the car. You can now just place your phone down on a dedicated pad and see your batter just fill with power. Yes, wireless charging is a thing. The new Kia Sportage has a wireless charging pad that you place your phone on. You would think this would slip around while driving. No, the clever people at Kia have thought about this and solved it. Kia isn’t the only brand with this technology. Toyota offers across its new model range, Honda offers it across certain models as well as the Nissan brand.

Heads Up Display


Does anyone remember the days of the dash display just showing the mph and an analogue clock display? Those were the days, simplicity.

Simplicity returns in the modern car. In the form of a heads-up display. As you see with modern cars, the interiors are becoming sleek and minimal by using LCD screens. To provide the driver with the information they need without needing to take their eyes off the road, this is where this technology comes into its own. No more looking at your speedometer to check you are keeping within the speed limit. No more checking your sat nav for directions. It’s all projected on to your windscreen.


You may worry that all this information projected in front of you is distracting. Not at all, completely the opposite. The design of the heads up display is so you look through it not at the information. It also makes it harder to go over the speed limit as it’s constantly in your line of sight.

Mobile Apps


Navigation systems and in-car entertainment systems were 2 separate entities in a car. You’d have a stereo for all your music (radio & CD) plus a sat nav, either built in (if you were fancy) or as a small screen suckered to your windscreen, with a posh voice shouting “make a U-Turn!”.  


As technology has moved on in the car industry, automotive designers have decided to utilise the advancements in mobile technology. You can now play music and plan your route on your phone. This may sound like it’s not futuristic at all. When you see it in action, by throwing your apps such as Google Maps and Spotify onto your dashboards LCD screen. No need for a stereo head unit or sat navigation system any more. It’s all on your phone, view the best Android apps for 2019 and Apple's iOS Car Play.


We won’t list the brands that utilise this technology, as it’s become ‘as standard’ across most major car brands in the UK. Make sure to check the specifications of the new car your buying, to see if this feature is included, as it’s worth having.

Side Cameras


We have briefly mentioned this above but wanted to go a little more in-depth about this advancement in car technology. Throughout the year there are many car shows where big automotive brands showcase their newest concept car. What is a concept car? Wikipedia states ‘A concept car (also known as a concept vehicle, show vehicle or prototype) is a car made to showcase new styling and/or new technology’. Brands attend these shows to showcase what they think the future of motoring will look like. Plus they want to let everyone know how skilled and talented they are.


We saw the Honda e electric car make its first appearance at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. Since then due to a mass of positive feedback, Honda has announced they will be moving the Honda e to mass production. Across the UK and Europe, there have been over 25,000 expressions of interest for this cute electric car.


Why are we talking about this car, you ask? Yes, it fits in with this topic as the advancements in technology are all over this vehicle. But one thing we are specifically interested in is the side mirrors. Well, they are not mirrors anymore, they are cameras. The Honda e designers have placed small side cameras on the exterior of the electric car. These cameras project what they see on the outside of the car onto a display in the drives line of sight. How futuristic is that? Honda is showcasing, 'we don’t need side mirrors'. We can relay on exterior cameras to show a detailed view of the surrounding area and any hazards that exist.


This won’t be the first you have heard of cameras showing the cars surrounding area. It becomes 'as standard' for car manufacturers to have reversing cameras. Some manufacturers like Nissan, offer a 360-degree bird's eye view of the car when manoeuvring into a parking space. But replacing wing mirrors with cameras, this is future technology. Who believes this will become an ‘as standard’ feature across the majority of car brands???

Summary


So, as you see technology is constantly evolving in the car industry. Not just to improve safety (as important as that is) but to improve in-car entertainment and functions, plus drivers and passengers comfort for any journey. Read the features of any
new car on the market and you’ll be surprised to see the technology that comes ‘as standard’.

Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance distribution activities only.

Howards Motor Group Footer Logo Long