There was a time, not too long ago, when anti-lock brakes and keyless car entry were the height of automotive technology. Oh, how things have changed. Today’s cars are jam-packed with so much tech, they make some fighter jets blush. If you’re shopping around for a new or used car, here are some options you might want to consider having in your next vehicle.
Active Cruise Control
The cruise control of yore was good for giving your foot a rest, but not much else. Active systems, though, can almost do the driving for you. They use radar to map the road ahead and then increase your vehicle’s speed or tap your brakes to match the speed of traffic. All you have to do is keep your car moving in a straight line.
This piece of tech uses cameras to track road markings, and if it senses you straying from your lane, it will gently guide you back onto the straight and narrow. That’s a handy bit of help considering that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s research indicates an estimated 37 percent of all road fatalities happen when drivers wander off the asphalt.
Adaptive High Beams
High beams are a blessing and a curse. They’re great for lighting up dark roads, but the whole blinding-everyone-else-within-a-quarter-mile thing? Not so good. Enter adaptive lighting systems. They use a small camera to monitor traffic and then dial back the intensity of your high beams when other cars are around.
You may not know it, but a surprising amount of technology goes into the humble tire. That’s especially true for the eco-friendly variants. These tires are specially designed to reduce friction with the road, meaning you need less fuel to keep your car going. Some are also being made from novel combinations of plant fibers and recycled material, cutting back on the estimated 15 to 38 liters of petroleum* that goes into the average tire.
The Electric Car
Make no mistake: electric vehicles are here to stay. More than 120,000 were reportedly sold in the U.S. last year and nearly every major manufacturer has at least one in their 2016 lineup. Those sales numbers are still a drop in America’s car-buying bucket, but after some fits and starts, and thanks to some new advances, electric finally looks like the way of the future.
Thanks to the GEICO Car Buying Service (Powered by TrueCar), you can start researching your next new or used car without leaving the comfort of your home. Aside from comparing car prices and specs, you can even lock in Dealer Guaranteed Savings without having to haggle with a salesperson. How’s that for hassle-free shopping?
Gadgets and high-tech systems are cool, but driving is a skill that needs to be honed. Taking a defensive driving course could earn you a discount on your car insurance.