Top Vehicle Technology in Action
March 1, 2021—The industry has been inundated with futuristic talk of autonomous vehicles, but many automated features are already showing up on today’s vehicles.
In order to prepare for the next frontier of transportation, repairers need to familiarize themselves with today’s technology, or risk falling even further behind to the detriment of their shop and their customers’ safety.
The following is a list of the top 10 automotive technologies, according to the people at Kelley Blue Book. The list is a signal of where the industry is heading, and it provides a roadmap for repairers to get acquainted with advanced features that will inevitably land in their shops.
"In 2021, we continue to be amazed by the incredible advancements made by automakers, as the technology within a vehicle deserves as much consideration as the mechanics under the hood," said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book, in a press release.
Here’s a look at the top vehicle technology and where you’ll find it lurking. How many have you seen in your shop so far?
Advanced Driver Assist Systems
It’s no secret that advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are the future of vehicle technology and Kelley Blue Book agrees. ADAS features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, cross-traffic alerts, and more.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is an ADAS feature that can sense a potential accident and apply full brake pressure to stop a vehicle quickly, hopefully preventing a collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently working to get automakers to commit to installing AEB on new vehicles. Tesla, Volvo, Audi, Hyundai, and more have already agreed. Check out this article to learn more about their efforts.
Many automakers, like Tesla, have begun investing in connected apps and digital keys to allow drivers to access vehicle information and even remotely unlock and start their vehicles.
Teen Driver Technology
Teen Driver is a feature offered exclusively by General Motors that allows vehicle owners to control certain settings for their vehicles such as volume limits and alerts owners if their vehicle goes over a certain speed or if the seat belts aren’t in use.
Teen Driver also issues a report card that can tell owners if certain ADAS features, like automatic emergency braking, have been triggered.
Another ADAS feature, exit warning functions using radar and camera sensors that can alert a driver if a cyclist or pedestrian is near, “ensuring that a passenger doesn’t open a car door as a cyclist passes,” according to Kelley Blue Book.
Newer Mercedes models have this feature alert passengers in a variety of ways from a side mirror notification to an audible warning and even ambient door lighting that can flash red, according to Automotive News.
Charging / Connectivity
Today’s vehicles are becoming more accessible by way of connectivity. Newer models can be outfitted with Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto, and even have their own WiFi connections.
Known by many names like “surround-view monitor,” the 360-degree camera has been a game changer for parking. Vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Camry are all fitted with camera sensors on every side of the vehicle to enhance visibility and prevent dents and even reduce insurance claims from low-speed crashes.
Video Rearview Mirror
Using a rear-mounted camera, a video rearview mirror allows drivers to see behind the car even when objects inside the vehicle may be obstructing the view.
Stolen Vehicle Tracking Software
Automakers like Subaru, Hyundai and General Motors now offer vehicle tracking technology. Vehicle tracking software has the ability to pinpoint a vehicle’s exact location and can also provide diagnostic information.
Blind-Spot View Monitor
Blind-spot view monitor functions using camera sensors on either side of the vehicle to show traffic in other lanes. Blind-spot view monitors can show speed changes, lane changes, and more to help prevent collisions.
Blind spot detection systems can be found on vehicles made by Volvo, Mazda, Jeep, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, and more.