Five Gadgets Coming To A Car Near You
We look at five gadgets that are or will soon be common in cars.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: December 15th, 2011
The march of new technology is continuing unabated, and several gadgets that are now trickling into the market or are just around the corner could change the way we interact with our cars going forward.
Here’s a look at five new pieces of technology that are now either here or on the way:
1. Infotainment systems: Ford’s Sync and MyFordTouch have been around for a few years, as has Cadillac’s Uvo and Chrysler’s UConnect. But more are on the way—such as Cadillac’s CUE—and those already on the market are constantly being updated to offer new features. Some systems even have apps like Pandora and Facebook. If these systems prove popular, we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.
2. Cars that talk to each other:In the not-too-distant future, it’s likely that cars will use Wi-Fi to “talk” to each other, mainly in order to avoid collisions. This technology could be helpful at blind corners and intersections, but we can already hear the conspiracy theorists worrying.
The 2012 Ford Mustang is one of several Fords available with MyKey.
3. Seatbelt airbags: Ford got there first with the 2011 Explorer, but we’ll soon see more and more airbags mounted on seatbelts, especially in rear seats, since they are meant to prevent head, neck, and chest injuries to children and elderly passengers.
4. Seats that can keep an eye on us: Ford is working on a system that can use the seat to monitor a driver’s heart rate, thus allowing the car to sense stressful situations and adjust accordingly. No word yet if this technology is ready for prime-time.
5. MyKey: Not to make this piece Ford-intensive, but one piece of tech that other automakers haven’t yet copied is Ford’s MyKey system, which allows owners to set limits on speed or radio volume. The idea is that parents of teenaged drivers can use one of key for themselves and one for their kid. Ford’s TracKey system follows the same idea on the Boss Mustang, giving owners a chance to switch between one set of tuning for the street and the other for the track. No word yet if any manufacturer is going to introduce a key with a built-in Breathalyzer, although Saab did explore the idea with its AlcoKey a few years back.