If you drive a new car today, it’s probably going to have some features that you wouldn’t have seen twenty years ago, or even ten. Time marches on, and automotive improvements haven’t stopped. In this article, we’ll explore modern automotive advancement advantages and drawbacks.
Once, we regarded seatbelts and airbags as innovative. That’s only the iceberg’s tip, though. Now, your smartphone can talk to your car. Imagine how impossible that would have sounded just a few years ago.
We’re going to talk about some car innovations that have hit the market over the past few years. We’ll also discuss some positives and potential negatives of each one.
Of all the various improvements in automotive safety over the past decade, few are as popular as automatic braking. Many car companies install it standard in their models. Automatic braking is useful if:
- The car in front of you slams on the brakes, and you weren’t paying close attention
- An animal runs suddenly across the road
- A child runs into the street without checking for traffic first
You’re always supposed to pay attention to the road ahead, but let’s face it: sometimes something might distract you for a couple of seconds. Your kid does something in the back seat, or maybe you’re switching satellite radio stations.
Automatic braking can prevent a catastrophe. This is also one of the few recent automotive additions where there seems to be virtually no downside.
It’s jarring when the brakes employ, and you’re not expecting it, but as long as there’s not much seatbelt slack, you shouldn’t suffer an injury.
Bluetooth technology is what allows your smartphone and vehicle to communicate with one another. You can use Bluetooth to:
- Engage with a travel app, like Google Maps
- Call a friend or relative and speak to them as you’re driving
With Bluetooth, you don’t need wires connecting the phone and the car. It’s certainly convenient, and most tech-savvy drivers use it at least sometimes.
There is a potential danger with Bluetooth, though. Studies show that even if you’re not using your hands to hold the smartphone as you’re driving, it’s still distracting to talk to someone.
If you’re speaking with someone on your phone, and their voice is coming out of your car’s speakers, it’s almost as though they’re there in the vehicle with you. If you’re heavily engaged in the conversation, then you can’t give the road your full attention, even if you’re looking right at it.
It’s not illegal to talk using Bluetooth when you’re in your car, but you still should avoid doing it. If someone calls you, keep the conversation brief, and tell them you’ll call them back.
Lane departure alert is another feature that many new cars have. It’s just what it sounds like: you’re getting an audible or visual warning when your vehicle drifts into another lane. As a result, modern automotive advancement advantages.
This is a wonderful feature if something distracts you for a second, and the car starts to go off-course. It’s also helpful if you’re tired, and you begin to nod off behind the wheel. The loud noise or visual alarm allows you to correct the vehicle’s momentum quickly.
As far as drawbacks, the only real one is that sometimes, if you’re not expecting a loud alarm, it might startle you to the point that you overcompensate. In theory, you should be able to steer the vehicle back into the lane. However, maybe you’re so thrown off by the noise that you steer into the next lane over and cause an accident.
It’s helpful if you familiarize yourself with the lane departure alert noise that your car makes. That way, if it happens, you won’t be too startled by it.
Every vehicle has blind spots. If it’s a larger vehicle, then the blind spots will also be larger. That’s why you have to be careful if you’re driving next to an eighteen-wheeler. There are certain areas where the driver can’t see you. So, modern automotive advancement advantages.
You should check your blind spot before you signal and change lanes. This is vital if you’re on the highway going fast during rush hour. The blind-spot warning lets you know that there’s another vehicle there if you’re thinking about making a move.
It’s undeniably useful. The potential problem is the same as with lane departure alerts. If there’s a sudden loud noise or flashing dashboard light, you might suddenly jerk the wheel if you’re not expecting it. Some blind-spot warning systems even vibrate the seat to get your attention.
Like with lane departure alerts, you should familiarize yourself with the lights that come on, the noise, or the seat or steering wheel vibration. You should also check your blind spot before you switch lanes, just in case the warning system fails to work.
Many vehicles come with backup cameras standard as well. You can use the camera as you’re backing out of a narrow driveway or in a busy grocery store parking lot.
No one has reported any issues with these cameras. They can mean the difference between life and death if there’s a toddler behind you who suddenly escapes their parent’s watchful eye for a moment.
Many people use their smartphone and an app to help them navigate to somewhere they’ve never been before. However, some vehicles come with onboard navigation. All the driver needs to do is type in the address to which they are going, and a map will appear that they can follow. As a result, modern automotive advancement advantages.
Usually, the system can give verbal directions as well if the driver wants them. Most people don’t complain about having these systems, and they find them useful. The only issue is that occasionally they break, and then you have to get them repaired.
If you’re getting a brand-new car, it’s more expensive than a used or certified pre-owned one, but you might be willing to get the newest model because it has these features. It will depreciate as soon as you drive it off the lot, but you’ll have all the latest tech.