Technology We Love
We spend so much time focused on problems with advanced technology and its implementation that we are likely creating the impression that we are anti-technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. While we do spend a good deal of our time railing about new technological features and what drivers are forced to deal with, our beef is less with the features themselves and more with how they are presented to the motoring public.
So, when considering a new or used car, here are some technologies to look for. We’ll link you to additional info we have here at the site, but bear in mind that
If you are looking for anew car, stability control systems have been required in the U.S. beginning with the 2012 model year, and in the 2009 model year in Europe, so there no need to ask. But that leaves a lot of great pre-owned cars out there without it. And ignore the overly frightening skidding car symbol used on the instrument panel.
Stability control is a sophisticated electronically-controlled system that uses sensors to identify when there is lateral slip in the tires during cornering and responds by adjusting the brakes, throttle, differential and/or suspension to help keep you on track. Read more here, but remember, we discuss the system based on a trouble light!! Its a great technology to have in your car. It works and saves lives.
Fear not! A proven technology that will save you money at the pump and in nearly every case you will not have to plug it in. Go for it, new or pre-owned.
See more here.
Back-up or Rear View Cameras
This is a must when looking for a new car or even a late mode pre-owned. And if you are considering adding one of these to your ride and have any doubts, relax and go for it! Safety officials feel so strongly about their utility that they will be required in all cars sold in the U.S. by the 2018 model year. And they can be added to any car pretty easily. Read more here.
These have taken hold in Eastern Europe and other areas where police and insurance corruption have left drivers vulnerable. However, the spectacular videos captured in Russia in early 2013 of a massive asteroid exploding in the atmosphere have us scratching our heads in wonder that they have not taken hold in the west!
These are aftermarket items only but there are well rated devices available. See more here. We expect that they will end up incorporated into more extensive video systems in new cars in the future, likely as part of forward traffic and pedestrian avoidance.
Most of us will find ourselves at one time or another either needing to take a call on a cell phone or wanting to receive one. In that case, some kind of Bluetooth device is an absolute must. If you are new-car shopping, the technology will be standard equipment with whatever level receiver is available in your purchase.
If you are in the pre-owned market, be aware that not only is hands-free required by law nearly everywhere, it is simply safer, period. Its also more convenient. And some of the products available have some really great features. More here.
These systems are found with many names, a real pet peeve with us. Pre Collision System (PCS), Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), Eye Sight. All these and more describe systems that are capable of detecting obstacles in a vehicles path and applying the brakes if the driver does not. The symbol at right is meant to indicate that the system has a problem and is turned off.
Auto manufacturers unfortunately advertise these as substitutes for paying attention, but the plain fact is that each of us has at one time or another been distracted by something inside or outside the car. Anything to help prevent a collision rather than protect occupants during one gets our vote. More here.
At DashboardSymbols.com, we developed two Mobile Apps to help drivers with the most common questions asked of service departments everywhere: “What is this light on my dashboard?” And “My car says ‘Key Not Detected’. How do I get into and start my push-button start car?” With these two apps, we have your back. Check them out here.