With each passing year, vehicles are equipped with more and more state-of-the-art technology, features to keep you, and any would-be passengers navigating the roadways safely. Of course, learning any new technology can be challenging – especially if you haven’t bought a newer car in a couple of years. So, if you are in the market for a new vehicle and want to understand all the “bells and whistles” in the vehicle, you have come to the right place.
Hopefully, the list below will educate you on today’s most advanced automotive technologies, how they work, and if it’s a must-have. Here are a couple new high-tech car features you should know about.
Forward Collision Warning
This warning symbol uses optical or radar sensors to warn you when you are in imminent danger of colliding with the car in front of you. This alert system uses audible alerts and flashing lights on the dash or windshield.
It’s important to note this alert is only a warning and will not apply brakes for you to prevent a collision.
Similar to forwarding Collision Warning, sensors now have the capability to detect nearby or oncoming pedestrians. Once the sensor senses a person nearby, the car will automatically brake for you to prevent an accident. Some vehicles can even pick up large animals and bicycles.
Although this alert is nice to have, it isn’t bulletproof. A study done by AAA in 2019 shows that many pedestrian detection systems don't work when you need them to – particularly at night. Please remain vigilant while driving at night, or in areas where pedestrians may be walking.
Lane Departure Warning
Using cameras to monitor road markers, the lane departure warning system lets the driver know when the vehicle is about to or completely cross out of your lane. Vehicles can warn you with visual and audible warnings, plus steering wheel vibrations in some vehicles.
Adaptive Cruise Control
The adaptive cruise control maintains your preset speed until you approach vehicles ahead traveling slower than you in your lane. At that point, it slows the car to maintain a set distance. This feature differs from regular cruise control – when you encounter slower traffic, you have to disengage your cruise control, then resume your desired speed once you pass.
Adaptive headlights monitor the angle of your steering wheel and respond by swiveling the headlights or activating cornering lights to better illuminate your path around corners.