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  • by Montgomery Miller
  •  December 15th, 2017

New Tech for the New Year

Your Tech Dreams Have Arrived
Just when you thought the cool features available with your new 2018 model car or SUV couldn’t get any cooler, think again. Anyone old enough to remember the original Star Trek is now looking back in wonder at the visionary tech predicted by series creator Gene Roddenberry in consultation with the brilliant astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan. We have entered an extraordinary age of accelerating technological advances that makes it hard to keep up. According to Moore's Law, the doubling of computer processing speed every 18 months is just one manifestation of the greater trend that all technological change occurs at an exponential rate. The New Year promises safer, more reliable ways to communicate hands free; autonomous breaking and steering systems that make driving safer; improved range for electric vehicles; new interior comfort options, and much more. 

Communicating Safely
Clunky Bluetooth pairing has long been an irritation for new car buyers. Mega car maker Honda has introduced a new technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, included in their redesigned Accord. Initially limited to use with Android devices, a simple tap of the device against an “N” logo located on the dashboard in easy reach of the driver initiates instant pairing. Easier pairing means broader usage and a safer hands-free communications experience.

Steering into a Safer Future
We all make mistakes. Whether we are distracted by something, feeling fatigued or just blink at the wrong moment, a few seconds of indecision can be the cause of an otherwise avoidable collision. In 2018 the industry is taking significant steps towards fully autonomous driving that will make driving safer for all of us. Both Lexus and Volvo are forging ahead with systems designed to take over the steering in specific instances where a possible collision is detected. Lexus’ LS sedan and Volvo’s redesigned XC60 crossover SUV will take control, with help from advanced sensors and cameras, of the steering wheel in certain situations to avoid collisions.

Parking in Style
Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Along with the associated economic benefits there has been a price to pay for that growth in the form of increased traffic and fewer parking spaces. While the traffic issues won’t be going away anytime soon, BMW is embracing new technology through a collaboration with smartphone application developer Parkmobile that assists drivers with locating, reserving and paying for parking in hundreds of cities in both the US and Canada through BMWs innovative iDrive infotainment system. The system locates available parking both on and off the street as well as for special events and at airports.

Heading into 2018 and beyond, you can expect to see improvements in connectivity, a significant expansion of all-electric entries along with increased use of hybrid technologies that promise vastly improved mileage and dramatically lower emissions. For more on the cool tech coming in 2018, check out KBB.com’s 2018 Best Auto Tech Awards here.

About the Author

Montgomery “Monty” Miller is a writer and founder of Austin based GlobalSpeed AdGroup, a full service creative advertising agency. His father, a San Antonio native, was a film and television writer with a long career beginning in the 1950s “Golden Age of Television.” In the mid-90s Monty worked in Synergy Marketing for The Walt Disney Company and prior to moving to Austin in 2015 he served as Vice President of Marketing with Flight Sciences International, a consulting firm specializing in fuel conservation planning for airlines worldwide.

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