Car Gear: Present and Future

Safari

I continue to love having a car with tons of tech baked in. I love the keyless entry and ignition, am blown away by the quality of the speakerphone, am enjoying the heck out of streamed music from my iPhone and the nav system… well you can read about it here. When I was a month into driving my new wheels (and still acting like a kid in a candy shop) I commented to Elana that I could not imagine where they would got from here. Seriously, I thought, what else could they possibly do short of actually driving for you? Well, as luck would have it just a week later we received a list from Web2Carz.com of the 5 newest/coolest gadgets that are currently available in cars or just around the corner. Here they are…

LittleSnapper

Five Gadgets Coming To A Car Near You

1. Infotainment systems: Ford’s Sync and MyFordTouch have been around for a few years, as has Cadillac’s Uvo and Chrysler’s UConnect. But more are on the way—such as Cadillac’s CUE—and those already on the market are constantly being updated to offer new features. Some systems even have apps like Pandora and Facebook. If these systems prove popular, we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.

2. Cars that talk to each other: In the not-too-distant future, it’s likely that cars will use Wi-Fi to “talk” to each other, mainly in order to avoid collisions. This technology could be helpful at blind corners and intersections, but we can already hear the conspiracy theorists worrying.

3. Seatbelt airbags: Ford got there first with the 2011 Explorer, but we’ll soon see more and more airbags mounted on seatbelts, especially in rear seats, since they are meant to prevent head, neck, and chest injuries to children and elderly passengers.

4. Seats that can keep an eye on us: Ford is working on a system that can use the seat to monitor a driver’s heart rate, thus allowing the car to sense stressful situations and adjust accordingly. No word yet if this technology is ready for prime-time.

5. MyKey: Not to make this piece Ford-intensive, but one piece of tech that other automakers haven’t yet copied is Ford’s MyKey system, which allows owners to set limits on speed or radio volume. The idea is that parents of teen drivers can use one of key for themselves and one for their kid. Ford’s TracKey system follows the same idea on the Boss Mustang, giving owners a chance to switch between one set of tuning for the street and the other for the track. No word yet if any manufacturer is going to introduce a key with a built-in Breathalyzer, although Saab did explore the idea with its AlcoKey a few years back.

Which of the five looks most compelling to you?

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

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