Gone are the days when we had to look constantly at the speedometer for information like speed, radio, fuel etc. Car manufacturers like GM, BMW and Audi have developed the ‘Head Up’ Display technology that projects that kind of basic information on the windshield and helps refocus your attention to a place where it increasingly isn’t: the road.
Automatic Brake Assist
We have seen ‘Brake Assist’ technology where the car applies soft brakes if it senses an impending collision. However in cars like the new Volvo XC90 you will find active brakes to avoid any collision. It was once found in high-end Benzes and safety-conscious Volvos.
This technology is a delight! Push a button and the car measures adjacent spaces as you drive past them. When it finds a spot, you shift into reverse and work the gas and the brake while the car steers itself into the spot. You wind up a few inches from the curb every time.
Torque vectoring mechanism requires it to spin the outside tire slightly faster through a corner to point the car into a turn. Traditionally, this was accomplished with a complicated mechanical differential, which was used in the BMW X6, Ferrari 458, and Acuras equipped with Super Handling AWD.
The Hybrids seem to be the ‘drivers’ in major car makers’ growth. We have seen how the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf have evolved. The Volt formula seems to be winning. Similar plug-in hybrids are on the way from Ford, Honda, Cadillac and Porsche. As charging times come down and range goes up, pure electrics will make sense for more people.