Latest Automotive Technology News

Automotive technology news

Pedestrian detection - Volvo has developed a combination of technologies that goes further than simply identifying objects: it can identify pedestrians and cyclists, thus allowing avoidance of collisions and injuries in urban areas, where such accidents are most common. Since this also happens to be one of the most important type of accidents involving cars, this technology should spread pretty quickly.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW) - Here's the most popular tech of 2014. Most major manufacturers now offer a form or another of lane departure warning systems in their new models. These systems alert the drive when he crosses a line without signaling first. The goal is to address drowsiness at the wheel, although studies have shown it is not as efficient as expected.

Intelligent braking - ...or lazy brakes, if you wish. Acura's new RLX sedan features a "Brake Hold" button that will keep the brakes pressed automatically. Useful while waiting for that red light to turn green, or for that loooong train to cross the road.

Semi-autonomous driving - Merceses-Benz's new E-Class offer an Intelligent Drive system able to take control at low speeds, following heavy traffic even on curvy roads. It will also automatically correct the course if it seems like the driver is inadvertently crossing lanes, thus avoiding unfortunate accidents. It can also completely stop the car if needed.

Hot-stone massage - Because the all-new 2014 S-Class does not pack enough new features as it is, Mercedes-Benz has found it necessary to include exclusive hot stone massage bucket seats. 14 tiny air bags inflate and deflate to stimulate the occupant's backside in a traditional, shiatsu fashion.

Receding door handles - Tesla Motors' Model S all-electric sedan sports many exclusive technologies, one of them being almost exclusively aesthetic: the receding door handles retract when the car is locked down or when it is moving, but press the key fob Unlock button and the pop out. They seem pretty solid too. Still, we wonder how they'll fare under an inch of thick winter ice...

Internet radio - This is not new in itself, but internet radios are now becoming a mainstream technology found in the infotainment system of several new 2014 vehicles sold in Canada. No need to pull up the smartphone and launch the necessary app, since those radios use the phone's internet connection, but are located directly on the dashboard.

Integrated shop-vac - Honda and the Shop-Vac company have partnered to develop this integrated vaccum cleaner found in the 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan. Simply pull and turn on to clean up the vehicle's many surfaces and storage areas, from the bottom of the trunk to that small cavity under the pedals.

Traffic signs recognition - This is already happening in Europe, where Audi and Mercedes-Benz, among others, use front-facing cameras to identify road signs. Combining that information with the data contained in today's navigation systems, the car can replicate the speed limit right in the middle of the information cluster behind the wheel, for example.

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