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A Look at Some of the Latest Tech Being Used in Cars
by Canvas • April 23, 2019

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Modern Features You Deserve in Your Car

Back in the day, power windows were a revolutionary add-on that only came in luxury vehicles. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a car that doesn’t have this common feature (or a youngster that even realizes you used to have to roll your windows down manually). It’s clear that car technology has come a long way since then, with tons of modern features most people could never even dream of. Here’s a list of some of the best tech being used in cars today (and spoiler alert, many of these features are available with Canvas car subscriptions).

Heated and Ventilated Seats

There’s nothing much worse than a cold seat on a winter day, and luckily, heated and ventilated seats are here to save the day. They gently send warmth through the upholstery, giving your backside a cozy embrace that will make your drive much more pleasant, no matter the temperature outside.

4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspots

Checking your email on the go is no longer a problem thanks to the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots in many new cars. Chevrolet, GMC, and Buick vehicles all have this feature available so you don’t have to burn through your smartphone’s data plan. It lets you connect your laptop, tablet, and other devices so you can stay online no matter where you are.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Nowadays, many cars have touchscreen interfaces. Rather than trying to learn the complicated menus and interfaces that come standard, you can use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to connect to your phone and access all of your apps. This makes the interface much easier to navigate, and it encourages you to keep your phone out of your hands while driving.

Alexa Voice Control

You probably love the functionality of your Alexa device at home — but did you know you can also talk to Alexa in your car? Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, and Toyota all have partnerships with Amazon that allow drivers and passengers to control their cars by interacting with everyone’s favorite virtual assistant. You can ask for directions, get live traffic reports or weather updates, and even turn on your lights in preparation for your arrival home.

Brain-to-Vehicle Communication

If brain-to-vehicle communication sounds like something out of a science fiction story, that’s because it is — for now. Nissan is currently working on implementing this system, which will read your brainwave activity and use that to anticipate your next action. For example, your car might be able to tell when you’re planning to turn the wheel and initiate the process for you. This tech isn’t available quite yet, but Nissan hopes to use it to make driving more comfortable and safer.

Augmented Reality Dashboards

Have you seen The Terminator? If so, an augmented reality dashboard might remind you of Terminator vision. Information comes up on the screen to alert you about nearby objects. This is currently a feature in some BMW cars that can let drivers know what’s in front of their car and how far away they are from it. This information is projected onto the dashboard so it overlays on top of the real-world view.

Stolen Vehicle Tracking Software

No one wants to have their car stolen, but thanks to modern stolen vehicle tracking software, this fear might be a thing of the past. Manufacturers like GM and BMW have integrated OnStar and Connected Drive into their vehicles, which can be used by law enforcement to track the location of a vehicle that’s been stolen. Basically, it’s like Find My iPhone, but with your car.

Night Vision

Driving at night is sometimes daunting, especially if you’re on an unlit back road where critters like to run out in the middle of the lanes. While high beams can help, they don’t always cut through the darkness. That’s why Audi and BMW have added night vision to their repertoire. By using sensors outside of your car, the vehicle can display a night vision picture on the dashboard that shows deer or other obstacles glowing — even if you can’t see them in real life.

Autonomous Driving

Self-driving cars have been in the news for years, and while they aren’t quite road-ready, some auto manufacturers are inserting subtle autonomous features into their vehicles. For example, Tesla’s Autopilot feature can actually take over steering and braking during specific conditions, while Mercedes’ Drive Pilot takes over highway driving up to speeds of 130 miles per hour.

Autonomous Parking

Perhaps a more current application of the autonomous craze is parking. Lots of newer cars come with the ability to park themselves, including the Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 7 Series. You’ll never have to struggle with parallel parking again — just pull up to a spot, press a button, and watch your car work its magic. You don’t even have to be in the car for this feature to work, meaning you can jump out and go if you’re running late.

Surround View Camera

Rearview cameras have been a mandated requirement in all new cars since 2018, and they’ve done a great job of making it easier to park in and back out of a spot. However, some automobile makers have decided to up the game with a 360-degree camera. Rather than just see what’s behind you, a surround-view camera lets you get a look at all sides of your car. You’ll be able to get a virtual top-down view of your surroundings, which can make it far easier to park or maneuver in tight spots.

Will the above revolutionary car technologies eventually become as widespread and common as power windows? No one knows for sure, but until that point, it’s definitely worthwhile to splurge on some modern amenities. Don’t have the cash to shell out for a brand new, technology-ridden vehicle? You don’t have to if you choose a car subscription service like Canvas. With our car subscriptions, you’ll have tons of modern vehicles to choose from, many of which feature this fun technology!