There’s nothing quite like an American muscle car from the era of wide frames and big V8s. What you have in style, though, is lost in creature comfort and usability. You’re going to look really cool with your arm hanging out the window because you don’t have any air conditioning and it’s 96 degrees outside.
Though more technology isn’t necessarily always better, there’s a lot to be said for modern cars and trucks. With the ever-steady march to completely driverless vehicles, we see more and more features rolled out that are centered around driving awareness and assistance.
Here are some of the more exciting innovations coming to car lots this year.
More Robust “Infotainment”
Modern vehicles are moving away from knobs and control panels, which are expensive to engineer and manufacture, in favor of all-in-one touch screens. Ford is fully embracing and promoting this ideal with their SYNC system; set your perfect road trip music, check the weather in the next town over, and navigate your way there all in one spot. They have even partnered with third-parties to offer much-loved services like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Waze navigation.
If you found your car from a Craigslist auto search, you’re probably used to fighting with cords, frozen apps, and incorrect input sources. Carmakers are looking to eliminate the hassle and potential danger of juggling your smartphone while driving with their smart infotainment designs.
The popularity of personal assistant devices like Amazon’s Alexa has, of course, bled over into the automotive industry. Some manufacturers already offer basic voice and AI controls, but Hyundai wants to take it a step further. In collaboration with a group that specializes in voice-controlled AI, they have developed their Intelligent Personal Agent.
Hyundai will be rolling out their tech on some 2019 models. Those who buy vehicles equipped should expect a smarter and more intuitive experience than they may have had using past voice-controlled systems. The Intelligent Personal Agent isn’t just a glorified remote control: the system is smart enough to predict your preferences and assist you while driving.
Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Some basic information transmitted to our cars from those around us could go a long way in helping autonomous safety systems to work their best. Car producers are scrambling to introduce vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication systems. These systems don’t rely on cellular service to operate, relying instead on their own radio transmitters to directly talk with the receivers around them. This means your safety won’t be compromised if you’re in a low cell service area.
Even though every car company is moving to introduce their own flavor of V2V, Toyota is urging the industry to adopt a standard among all manufacturers. The possibilities for this tech beyond accident avoidance could be huge, so keep an eye as more information is leaked.
Technological growth in the auto industry outpaces itself year after year in a mad dash to improve safety, reliability, and customer satisfaction. The tech on 2019 models may seem impressive now, but by this time next year, it will be considered ancient history.