With the wide array of safety and technology features available now, it can be difficult to weed out the wants from the must haves. Would you rather have a WiFi hotspot or Apple CarPlay? Is Blind Spot Monitoring more important than Active Cruise Control?
At Cartelligent, we help thousands of clients every year decide which technologies will benefit them personally. For this piece, we’ve created a list of our three favorite “must-have” options.
3. Apple CarPlay / Android Auto
These systems integrate your iPhone or Android phone with your car, giving you the ability to control Siri/Google with the touch of your steering wheel. They enable you to use native Navigation apps like Apple and Google Maps instead of your factory system. You can also utilize voice texting and control Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, or Podcast apps (to name a few). In our opinion, it’s truly a step in the right direction.
2. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), preferably with built in Stop/Start
While some of us still enjoy driving, inevitably, there are times when you just don’t want to have to deal with pressing pedals. Whether you’re taking off on a road trip, or just fighting soul-crippling traffic on your way home, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can simplify driving. While all ACC systems perform similarly—taking traditional cruise control and maintaining a set distance between you and the car in front of you—some, like the systems found in the Audi A4 and Q7, offer “Traffic Jam Assist”. This system is designed to operate at low speeds, and its only requirement is to tap the throttle to begin again after the car brings itself to a safe and smooth halt.
Audi is not the only company offering this type of system, and it can be found on models from the Subaru Crosstrek to the Dodge Charger. Also of note is that most cars equipped with ACC systems, are also equipped with frontal collision prevention due to the fact that they use the same frontal radar system to bring the vehicle to a stop.
1. Active Lane Keeping
We have become more distracted as a society, and this doesn’t end once we get behind the wheel.
Lane Keeping Aids steer you back into your lane should you drift absentmindedly. While a strange sensation, they are typically quite effective and tend to improve your driving habits as well. Should you change lanes without signaling, the Ford system, for instance, will resist for a time, then the steering wheel vibrates 3 times to protest your behavior. After receiving this warning a few times, you almost always use your signal the next time you change lanes.
When coupled with an Adaptive Cruise Control system, your vehicle becomes semi-autonomous. This combination can be found in a myriad of cars, from Subarus to Mercedes, and in popular family haulers like the Acura MDX and Ford Explorer. While not a substitute for your hands on the wheel, it’s nice to know you’re safer and more at ease, no matter where you are.
So there you have it, our three favorite tech features. While some of the more advanced safety features add thousands of dollars to the bottom line, they also add safety and offer peace of mind. Your Cartelligent agent can discuss all of these options with you and help you make an informed decision about which will benefit your lifestyle and budget.