January 25, 2017 | Asher Stefani
Now that we are freshly into the New Year it only made sense for us to get the word out regarding the top auto technology features for 2017. This year there will be some incredible changes for new auto technology that will shape the future of the auto industry for the next 3-5 years. 2017 will bring everything from new driver safety technology to a new era of infotainment in vehicles that will make your drive safer and much more enjoyable. Fortunately, these auto technology features will be rolling out for both economic and expensive autos and will impress even those who are tech savvy.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Technology is one of hottest BIG auto trends heading into 2017 and will bring all of your favorites straight to your vehicle. Not only will the new technology make your vehicle safer, but it also makes it easy to play music you like, use navigation and will even save your passengers from using their mobile data! Check out the breakdown of new auto technology for 2017 below.
DRIVER SAFETY ASSIST AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Driver safety assist may not be the most fun out of all the auto technology features for 2017, but it is definitely the most impactful as it will play a significant role in lowering accidents, injuries and potentially fatalities. This is something that auto technology experts have been working on for some time and it is absolutely here to stay. The best part is that these new driver safety features are available in the majority of 2017 vehicles, not just the expensive ones. We are going to dive into the 3 main driver safety assist features for 2017, but here is a quick list of all the driver safety assistance features in the works or already rolled out:
- Forward and Backup Collision Warning
- Blind Spot Detection
- Rear Crossing Alert and Pedestrian Detection Warning
- Driver Drowsiness Detection
- Traffic Sign Recognition
- Park Assist
- Turn Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Departure Warning
- And Even Night Vision!
FORWARD AND BACKUP COLLISION WARNING AUTO TECHNOLOGY
Forward and backup collision warning systems alert you when your vehicle is about to collide with another that is either in front of or behind your vehicle. Fortunately this alert is setup to detect a potential collision even if it is more than a short distance away so you will have enough time to hit the brakes before it is too late. The type of alert the collision warning system gives out varies a bit, but provides the same function. The alert can be a sound pushed out by the vehicle, a flashing light that also beeps or even a sudden vibration to the driver seat so only the drives is alerted and the passengers do not panic. This technology is awesome and will certainly reduce the number of collisions moving forward, especially now because it will be available in the majority of new vehicles in 2017.
This is not the same as Collision Mitigation Systems which actually begin the process of braking and stopping when it senses a collision in the front or rear of the vehicle. A few years ago these systems had some ups and downs, but over the years they continue to get better and better. The fact that the majority of new vehicles will have them equipped speaks volumes to their benefits as well as faith in the safety systems.
BLIND SPOT DETECTION AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Back when it all started with Drivers Education classes to get your driver license we were all told to look over our shoulders in order to view the blind spots to see what side mirrors did not allow us to. The Blind Spot Detection System is there to catch whatever may have been missed with that quick glance.
The system is triggered once your blinker is on and then you can see any vehicles in the blind spot or alongside of your vehicle. There are a few different ways the system will alert you including a flashing light on the side mirror, a sound alert or beeping from your car or even a slight vibration in your steering wheel that will discreetly let you know if you are about to switch lanes directly into another vehicle.
QUICK TIP: Always use your blinker when switching lanes, especially if you want the Blind Spot Detection System to work in your favor. If you do not use your blinker, the system will not know that you are planning on switching lanes and neither will the vehicles around you.
REAR CROSSING ALERT AND PEDESTRIAN WARNING AUTO TECHNOLOGY
The Rear Crossing Alert and Pedestrian Warning System is specifically designed to assist when backing up and although it has mixed reviews in the recent years, the technology has improved significantly. Not only can you detect a vehicle that pulled up behind you while you are backing up, but you can clearly see pedestrians walking or on a bicycle in the LCD display. This has come a long way from the original system that simply provided a green zone that turned red when you got close to something. It now shows a clear, color streaming display as you are backing up.
Even if you are backing up at an angle the display shows everything behind you and some even have lines that show where you will end up as you are backing up along with how close you are to something. Have you heard the story of the person who backed out of their driveway and accidentally ran over their significant other or even worse a small child they could not see by looking over their shoulder? (I know, there are more than one story of this happening, but go easy on me here) This safety system was created to prevent awful things like that from happening which is simply incredible.
The number one most important thing on every auto maker’s list is safety and the above three auto safety systems are a prime example of how far technology has come over the years.
QUICK TIP: Even with all of this awesome safety technology, it is always best to physically check behind your vehicle before you get in and go in reverse. There could be something low you cannot see or even a small child playing. Take the extra 10 seconds to check, even if it takes you doing this for 20 years and you finally see a child playing behind your car, it will be make it all completely worth it.
INFOTAINMENT AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Now that we have gone through the ever important auto safety systems it is time for the always fun infotainment section that will delve into the IoT (Internet of Things) merge with auto makers in 2017 and beyond. Every year the infotainment in vehicles gets better and better, but in 2017 it will blow your mind. No, you cannot yet purchase a self-driving vehicle like the ones Google has, but there are still a lot of awesome technology features that will make riding in the car a lot more fun than ever before.
APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO
Say goodbye to the old fashioned infotainment systems that simply displayed the title of a song with the artist’s name and yelled at you while attempting to give you accurate directions when you desperately needed them. Now say hello to the Apple CarPlay and the Android Auto infotainment systems that bring nearly every feature on your cell phone and operates within your vehicles computer interface. Both of these infotainment systems allow for easier control over music, navigation and communication using voice commands and/or easily accessible controls in your vehicle. All of this equates to better and safer driving so you do not have to touch your phone at all and you can focus 100% on what you are doing…which is driving.
APPLE CARPLAY AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Integration and Voice Control Apple CarPlay has a simple configuration so you just need to plug in your iPhone and it will automatically display on the screen and exiting is just as simple. Although the system is just like your phone, it is nearly 100% driven by voice command using Siri. All that is needed to activate Siri is a quick “Hey Siri” and you are all set. The goal here is to completely use CarPlay hand-free and for the majority of features it will automatically activate if you try to use your phone. This is a great feature, especially in states where just touching your phone while driving can result in a ticket if a police officer sees you.
Hand Controls, Messaging and Navigation
Hand controls are also fairly simple and allow you to easily navigate through your apps and within your apps. Need to send a quick text? No problem! Just let Siri know or tap the message button on the screen and the voice recognition software will let you send a text message hands free. Navigation is pretty much the same setup as you can let Siri know and put in the address or restaurant by simply saying it. If Siri cannot understand or if it is a place with a unique name you can always manually enter the address.
And last, but not least……audio! There is a standard set of preset audio apps that come with CarPlay. However, it will let you install a list of select apps for audio including some really popular ones like Spotify, At Bat and much more.
ANDROID AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
Integration and Voice Control
Integration for Android Auto is supposed to be very simple and for the most part it is. However, some vehicle makes like Mercedes have an operating system that requires a bit of extra work sifting through the menu system in order to set it up properly. This is a prime example of how much better the new infotainment apps are compared to the standard ones that come in the vehicle. Once connected properly, Android Auto is fast and simple to use.
To activate the voice control you need to physically push the button with a microphone icon located on your steering wheel (if applicable) or actually push the same icon button displayed on the screen. With that said, CarPlay has a bit of an edge, but once voice is activated Google does a pretty good job of understanding what you say for calling, messaging or navigation.
Hand Controls, Messaging and Navigation
Like CarPlay, Android Auto does a good job attempting to make sure you are hands free while using it. This is not a bad thing, but can definitely get a bit annoying for the passenger if they are itching to push out a quick tweet or Facebook post. Luckily for the passengers, it can be done by skipping the home screen that pops up as a failsafe and they can open the app from there. Messaging, calls and navigation are pretty straight forward and can be done either manually or by voice command which is great for drivers and passengers. You can only look at previous message using the manual option on the car screen. The voice recognition is fairly efficient and able to clearly and accurately interpret your voice then turn it into text. The navigation was also very simple and just like Google Maps and the voice recognition here is effective for getting where you need to go.
Android Auto is great for audio and offers numerous popular music apps including Google Play, Pandora, Spotify, Audible and much more. It is easy to setup and one of the best features is that it automatically lowers the volume when navigation puts out an audio prompt or a message comes in so the driver can still get where they need to go without any problems.
ONSTAR TELEMATICS AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
OnStar is available in every new GM vehicle and there is an option for pre-owned GM vehicles to get a free trial as well. This system has a lot of great features that are meant to assist you in a variety of different ways while you are on the road.
- Emergency Services
- Vehicle Security
- Wifi Connection
- Vehicle Manager
There are a lot of great reviews for OnStar and the emergency feature is one of its best for when you are in a bind while on the road, especially if you are on a road trip or in an unfamiliar area. They continue to make updates to improve the technology here and it will just get better as time goes on.
MULTI-USER WIFI HOTSPOT AUTO TECHNOLOGY FEATURES
In 2017, multi-user wifi in your vehicle is becoming the norm and is another awesome auto technology feature that is definitely here to stay. No more using up your data while connecting your phone with music apps to your vehicle! Those days are done as the majority of new vehicles in 2017 come with some kind of built in wifi hotspot that allows the driver and passengers to connect. Here is a quick list of auto makers implementing this in their new vehicles moving forward:
- And More!
The build in wifi not only saves your data, but also allows for high speed internet browsing for passengers and even high speed video streaming for those in the back seat. This is perfect for kids and for long road trips. The best part is most of them are quite affordable and come with a lengthy free trial.
AUTO TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE
One thing is certain for 2017 and beyond. Auto technology is here to stay and will only get better and better as time goes on. New auto technology features and updates for what is currently active are going to continue to make the driving experience better, safer and more efficient for both drivers and passengers alike. There are already some incredible developments in thee works that will take auto technology to another level in the next few years. Before long we may not even have to drive as the vehicle will drive itself for us. (But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here)
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If I missed anything or you have anything to add please feel free to leave a comment below and add your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!