Gone are the days of handheld maps and serious biceps from manually rolling down your window. Now we’re spoilt with a range of technology at our fingertips while on the road. And we’re not talking our smartphones (hands on the wheel, people)! The techy stuff we’re talking about is car technology.
Here’s what you should be using, but possibly aren’t yet.
Car Technology You’re Not Taking Advantage Of
Even if your car isn’t a top of the range Mercedes packed to the brim with all kinds of complicated features, there are probably still car technology features you’re underutilising. Many of us are just so stuck in our old habits we don’t take full advantage of the car technology available to us. Not anymore!
Take a look at the tech you should be making use of.
Pretty much all modern vehicles have cruise control available, but how many people do you know who actually use it regularly? Not only is it a great way to avoid speeding fines, it means you can relax a little. Even slightly move your leg around on long stretches of open road (holiday road trip, anyone?). No more knee cramps for you! But make sure to keep that foot right by the pedals – no car yoga, please.
If you have a new car, it might even have adaptive cruise control. This is like upgraded cruise control which not only keeps you within the speed limit but also adjusts your car’s speed based on automatically maintaining a safe following distance. Sounds like one step away from driverless cars to us (check out our article on future car technology here). And we love it.
Why oh why do we still see people talking on their phones in the car? Bluetooth has been around for yonks, so there’s really no excuse. Aside from if you have an old car, and even then you should be pulling over first. After that, consider saving for a new car in 2021.
Now you can make and answer calls via your car, as well as listen to your music. And if your car didn’t come with it pre-installed, a variety of really easy-to-use gadgets will very quickly make your car Bluetooth-friendly without any expensive outlay. There’s some great advice on how to choose a good Bluetooth kit here.
Plus, you no longer have to resort to one of those weird Bluetooth headsets that were all the rage with businesspeople back in the 90s.
Sensors and Park Assist
Sure, you could turn your head and pull off a smooth reversal into a parking space without any help. Or you could just use one of the many features available in many modern cars.
Depending on what you drive, it might be as simple as parking sensors. It could be a rear-view camera so no need to inch backwards at snail’s pace anymore. If you’re ever towing a trailer and you have a rear-view camera, definitely take full advantage. Back into all of the tight spaces you can find just to impress people.
Or it could even be full-on smart park assist which does all the work for you and gets you into that parking space with ease. If you have it, nobody even needs to know. Just use it at every opportunity and let everyone think you’re some kind of parallel parking guru.
Not every car has driving modes. However, if you own some kind of 4×4, modern SUV, sports car, or performance vehicle then you’ve probably more than one driving mode available to you.
Now, we do accept that you might not want them all. The snow function on your Land Rover might not be massively useful in much of Australia, for example. But the sand function and hill descent probably would be.
In addition to specialised functions which make it easier to drive on differing terrain, there’s often options like sport mode, comfort mode, or eco mode. Most of these different modes make use of one system called the Engine Control Unit. This system can make adjustments to things like suspension, handling, braking, and transmission. So your car is basically three different cars rolled into one.
Try the different modes out next time so that you can have a fuel-efficient drive on your morning commute but a sensitive, responsive ride when you’re traversing the Great Ocean Road.
It’s not exactly car technology, but…
Your car insurance might not help you park like a pro, but it can help protect you financially. Comprehensive car insurance means if you have an accident or your car’s stolen or damaged, you’re covered for repairs and/or replacement.
Sounds worthwhile, right? Get a quote here.
Car technology – Over to you
What’s the most-used piece of technology in your car? Let us know on our PD Insurance Australia Facebook page.