Tech Car Buying Guide

Automobile technology has remodeled a lot that you simply be forgiven for considering that you just lived in the future. Here at Compsmag, we take the automobiles very critically. We’ve dedicated to bringing our readers coverage that’s focused on the car as a technology platform, and this guide is that results of that commitment. In the Auto Guide we’ll identify industry-leading tech in addition to best-in-class automobiles, all the time bring you a thorough explanation of the technology and the motive behind our choices. Driverless cars. Electrical cars. Car-to-Car Communication. Bluetooth/WiFi tethering. built-in mapping options. Automobiles even ten years old are missing out on rafts of latest features which transform the driving experience.

All these adjustments are making it increasingly hard to maintain up. We’re right here to help. know our Car Technology Guide to learn not only how the driving experience is changing, but in addition how it affects you.

The automakers of the world are tearing the veil off their latest techno marvels, and this year their hottest offering is the automated car. It’s superb what a decade can do. 10 years ago, few automobiles had navigation, Bluetooth handsfree systems, or USB ports. Instantly, automakers are developing connected features, using data connections to usher in helpful info and entertainment, and driver assistance features for added safety and comfort.

Buying a new car ranks proper up there with visits to the dentist and tax audits as most individuals’ least favorite experiences. And it’s gotten much more irritating and sophisticated due to all the new technology coming to modern vehicles.

Automated cars ensure safer highways, better use of time and energy, and cleaner air in exchange for surrendering the occasional ease of controlling a fine machine. Whether that bargain strikes you as incredible or Faustian is dependent upon your temperament. Ghosn, for one, envisions senior citizens extending their driving years and teenagers starting younger. Other backers envision clever transportation pods that never crash, eliminating the need for air bags and other safety gear. Even driving lovers might be happy to sit again and text during a slog through traffic.

Listed below are some main technologies you want to keep in mind when looking for a new car:

Tech Car Buying Guide Features

Maximum fuel economy

Automakers have launched a number of technologies aimed toward getting their cars one of the best fuel efficiency, and that fact represents a win-win. The great car’s fuel economy, the less you pay at the pump and the less carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere.

Trust the EPA city and highway numbers. The current calculation to derive these numbers has proven pretty reliable. Your mileage will definitely vary, but the EPA range cited by the manufacturer will provide you with a good concept of the average fuel economy. After all, most automakers will highlight the highway figure, which is often the highest quantity. But highway driving may signify only 50 percent of your time on the road.

Engines

Although the EPA numbers may inform you the whole lot you should know, you possibly can delve a little deeper into how engine technology helps power control. Variable valve timing, the process of controlling when fuel is sent into a cylinder and when the exhaust is let loose, has been in use for a while. Direct injection is a newer technology on the scene, which helps the engine burn the fuel it will get much more efficiently. Right now, there is a growing variety of models being offered with direct-injection engines.

Infotainment is one of the most difficult tech features to judge because it’s still in its early stages and there are not any industry standards. It’s also an area where automakers (and car buyers) are try. Controlling audio playback, navigation, and in-car apps when behind the shell is a lot completely different from tapping away in your iPhone when sitting comfortably in your lounge. One infotainment interface that we constantly find straightforward to make use of is the UConnect system in Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep automobiles because of its large screen and icons, instinctive layout, and accurate voice activation. Of course, nothing beats the 17-inch touch show in the Tesla Model S.

More fuel-efficiency tech

Automakers are using a number of methods to increase fuel financial system. Just about each new car has an electrical power steering system quite than the hydraulically boosted systems that tapped energy from the engine. Some cars are coming out with idle-stop methods that may actually turn the engine off whenever you come to a stop at a traffic light or signal. Idle-stop is most efficient with bigger engines, however really works better with small, four-cylinder engines that take less effort to start-up.

Transmissions: The take rate on manual transmissions nowadays is only about 6 % in the U.S., and other people buying them are typically fans who already know a lot about cars, so let’s go away that aside. Transmissions that shift automatically come in a number of flavors.

Connectivity and Apps

Most new Bluetooth systems also support Bluetooth audio streaming. With your phone paired to the car, select Bluetooth among the audio sources menu. You’ll have to choose the music on your phone, as this technology is not sturdy enough but to make use of the car’s own controls.

Drivers’ want to stay connected doesn’t end once they enter the car. In truth, having cloud-connected services similar to navigation, real-time visitors updates, and local search becomes much more important whereas on the highway. That’s why automakers are aggressively adding connectivity and in-dash apps to vehicles in thrice varieties: embedded, tethered, and a hybrid approach.

Embedded means there’s a modem in the car (and a subscription is usually required) to hook up with the cloud, as with Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 system.

USB ports in cars assist iPods, iPhones, and USB drives full of music files. These devices store much more music than a CD and are a lot safer to use. As a substitute of flipping through a case full of CDs whereas driving your car down the freeway at 65 per, you’ll be able to either use voice command or a touch screen on the dashboard to pick out another album. Or simply set the stereo to shuffle through the 8GB of music in your device and rock down the road.

Digital Car Audio

Music makes driving more fun, or sitting in traffic more bearable. A lot of today’s linked cars supply available superior premium audio systems that far outclass what would be expected only a couple of model years ago

Together with a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, many cars also assist Bluetooth audio streaming through the stereo. Music was the original shopper electronics technology to enter the car. And now there’re more methods than ever to get great road tunes in your journey: AM and FM (now in HD), satellite radio, CD and DVD, in-dash hard drives, portable device are integration via USB and auxiliary inputs, SD cards, and streaming music apps. But no matter how many music sources you’ve gotten in your car, they will only be as enjoyable because the stereo system they’re played by way of. The good news is that premium audio in cars is best than ever and range from the expensive and esoteric, as with the Bang & Olufsen systems in a number of luxury makes with tweeters that rise out of the dashboard, to the low or no-cost options just like the sweet-sounding Infinity systems in many Kia vehicles.

You’ll be able to play music from your phone through the car’s stereo. The downside is that you will have to start the music playback on your phone, as voice command systems and car touch screens don’t but offer much control over this feature.

Navigation

Figuring out get where you are going is vital when driving, which is why in-dash navigation systems have made paper maps almost out of date. And nav systems have gotten better with cloud connectivity, allowing for real-time traffic data, native search, and compatibility with moveable devices. The Audi connect system is a good example of just how far navigation has evolve. It offers Google Earth mapping, parking information that lets a driver seek available spots in advance, and even a “picture navigation” feature that give the use of the geotagged information from a digital photograph to seek out an address and route the car to it.

Bluetooth Hands-Free

This wireless technology was originally only for hands-free phoning however has advanced into providing streaming music from a portable system. It additionally serves because the link between a car’s infotainment system mode and designated apps on a driver’s smartphone. One example of that is with the Subaru Starlink system, which makes use of a Bluetooth connection for features like news, weather, streaming music, and even Facebook news feeds. Compatibility points which have plagued the connection between phones and cars can still be a drawback, however. That’s why it’s important to make sure your devices and new car can communicate with one another.

Car Video and Gaming

Many crossovers, SUVs, minivans and luxury cars offer rear-seat entertainment systems to maintain the kids or kids-at-heart occupied on long journeys. A few premium infotainment systems also allow for watching movies or streaming content throughout the dash-mounted LCD.

Features to look for: Rear seat systems are available two basic flavors: these with and without auxiliary A/V inputs and power outlets. The latter permits the use of game consoles (portable and home), digital cameras and many other devices not built into the system. Some rear-seat systems feature built-in gaming and include dedicated game controllers or wireless remotes. A few feature touchscreens and business-related apps, even web browsing.

Connected features

Many new cars are getting an onboard data connection or some means of bringing data into the car throughout a driver’s smartphone. A data connection allows many services, from destination search to online music. The most helpful is Web-based local search, which integrates with the car’s navigation system. After typing in or speaking a search term, the car shows a listing of nearby business that match the word, usually garnered from Bing or Google. You’ll be able to choose a result and set it because the car’s destination. Other helpful navigation-related connected features come in the type of app similar to Yelp and OpenTable.

Pandora is the most popular connected music service, and lots of cars integrate it. Sometimes, you’ll be able to see the Pandora interface on the car’s LCD, select stations, and provides the at the moment playing music a thumbs up or thumbs down. Internet-based radio, similar to TuneIn, is another common feature. This service allows you to listen to any radio station from around the globe, so long as it has an Internet stream, which most do these days.

Computer systems

The newest frontier for in-car technology is onboard data connection. Some systems, like Toyota’s Entune, connect your smartphone’s data connection over USB or Bluetooth to bring cloud-connected entertainment and utility apps and useful features to your infotainment experience.

Others, like Audi Connect, bring a dedicated on-board data connection that may also be shared as a WiFi hotspot for devices like smartphones and laptops. Remember that you’ll probably end up paying a monthly charge for onboard data after a trial period runs out. Within the next two model years, in-car apps using cloud data will reproduce too many more car companies and models.

Here you will find a list of vehicles we examined that are examples of one of the best car tech in the classes above. For a complete list of reviews, see our Cars product page.

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