The current models of cars, especially the premium one’s have the lion’s share of the best car features. All these features are quite a bit; and knowing what is best utilized for driving can be challenging!
I. This car is a smorgasbord of features!
Driving was a simpler affair; when cars were relatively straightforward in what they generally offered! But, now the use of ECUs (electronic control unit) and fly-by-wire driving systems have made cars very different. Besides the fact that there is more complexity in every square in of a new car today.
Try as much; as we can say that it’s manageable and it makes driving easier should be in the grey area. If cars were much simpler before, and there was no learning curve unlike now!
There is more complexity in every square in of a new car today
Many drivers who know how to troubleshoot most analogue cars, will have a bit of a difficulty with fully computerized cars that need special equipment. Here Philkotse.com lists some differences that show how much cars have changed! Which is relevant to the concern of why many ECU controlled features, should be managed.
- Troubleshooting was simpler and quick fixes were much easier to do.
- Chances of restarting a bogged down car is less complex and did not need a tow because an immobilizer has shut down the engine.
- Despite the simple layout of the dashboard; with simple switches and dials that made managing the car much easier.
- The use of LCDs and touchscreen, with many driving aids that assist the driver, is a good safety advancement over the old. But, there is a danger of information overload which can lead to driver distraction.
- Some systems like auto-start and stop button are useful, but can be problematic compared to a simple ignition key!
- Driving aids that automate and simplify driving is good, but if they function well.
- Regular and constant maintenance is required to check all functions, unlike older and less ECU driven cars that were a relatively easy fix.
These are the concerns that should be considered as a basis; for what fancy high-tech car features should be important. Yes, these features have made cars better, but the human factor comfort should be addressed first.
II. Driver distraction is at an all-time high!
Despite all the modern car features and all the benefit has afforded even newbie drivers; there are drawbacks that come with it. But, these drawbacks can be turned into advantages when utilizing all these features with intelligence and thoughtfulness.
Getting drawn in and not recognizing any potential problem is a hassle, which can be avoided! Here are some tips to get things in perspective and later the features that should be given attention!
Keep eyes on the road and instrumentation panel, not fidget with irrelevant toggles or buttons
- Read the manual and do research into the features that the auto has, and familiarize with all the functions. This will make everything more familiar and no need for head-scratching.
- Keep the default settings of all functions active; because these functions are the most vital to the car and it’s ECU.
- Aftermarket additions should be advisable for installation first; factory setting of the ECU is the most optimal of all.
- Only attempt to alter settings that will affect how these features affect minor functions, not major!
- Get used to all voice and tactile controls, to know where they are.
- Keep eyes on the road and instrumentation panel, not fidget with irrelevant toggles or buttons. All views on the dash and the rear-view mirror that may have extra functions, like a rear cam.
- Keep all ears open for relevant aural warnings; not on the head-unit or entertainment system.
All these tips may help in managing possible information overload, by selectively minding the most important functions!
III. Important driving aids and features that will be of benefit to drivers
When considering what fancy high-tech car features should be managed while driving, they are several categories. These categories optimize safety and driver input; so that a safety net is created at several levels. Here they are and a new category of technologies, even helps manage carbon emissions too!
1. Active safety technologies
a. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
Tall vehicles, do tend to have a high center of gravity which can lead to instability when running. What it does is keep stability and controls the engine and braking power to keep steady! Without it; stabilizing would be hard for pickups and SUVs that need it to keep driving forward. This is one of the most useful active safety technologies, that counts!
Without it; stabilizing would be hard for pickups and SUVs that need it to keep driving forward
b. AEB or Collision mitigation systems
More than often; it’s a result of human error when distracted driving sets in and the driver cannot break in time! This system will kick in when the driver; fails to react in time to a collision warning. Once the limit is reached; an Autonomous Emergency Break (AEB) steps in on for a sudden stop! This system protects cars and pedestrians as well, from getting run over! This required for a five-star safety rating in collision testing.
This system will kick in when the driver; fails to react in time to a collision warning
c. Traction Control
Keeping maximum traction is important, and it senses where the wheels need the most power for better traction. It is similar to AWD (all-wheel drive); except this is active and automatically activates when needed. It minimizes skidding, spin-outs or loose traction that could be deadly for the car’s occupants!
Keeping maximum traction is important, and it senses where the wheels need the most power for better traction
2. Passive safety technologies
a. Lane Change Warning
A system that detects lanes on the road; and warns the driver via sound or haptic warning to correct the car. Some drivers may doze off behind the wheel when driving; this prevents collisions form oncoming or cars passing the opposite lane.
This prevents collisions form oncoming or cars passing the opposite lane
b. Blind Spot Monitor
It covers that blind spot in our vision by having a built-in monitor installed in the side view mirror. The blind spot monitor keeps the driver informed of an approaching car, on the right and left! Beeps via sounds or feedback to warn the driver to react fast.
It covers that blind spot in our vision by having a built-in monitor installed in the side view mirror
c. Cross Lane Radar
Sending radar waves that detect any approaching car and keeps the driver on his toes, to wake up and avoid a collision. Usually uses multiple probes to detect anything, in a 360-degree radius, for a quicker reaction!
Sending radar waves that detect any approaching car and keeps the driver on his toes, to wake up and avoid a collision
3. Active engine technologies
a. Automatic Cylinder Deactivation
Another cause of wasted fuel is when piston chambers work, and all are functioning in heavy traffic or stand still. It improves fuel economy and consumption, by shutting down some piston cylinders when not in use. One of the better engines that make SUVs and large pickup trucks save more fuel and create fewer carbon emission.
It improves fuel economy and consumption, by shutting down some piston cylinders when not in use
b. Auto engine start and stop systems
Idling while stopped is the cause of wasted fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions in cars. It turns the engine off and keeps it running, and starts it electrically when needed for better fuel economy. Without this, large engines will be less fuel efficient than they are already. It works by the sensor that does the all the work, without human intervention.
Idling while stopped is the cause of wasted fuel and unnecessary carbon emissions in cars
c. Green diesel tech
This technology improves how diesel engines burn diesel and create less carbon dioxide. Most premium cars have this to protect the environment!
All these feature and technologies should be the foundation for a safer and better car, with fancy high-tech car features that will help very much!
Now all these fancy high-tech car features are needed, but not all and selective management of input is needed for it! Driving and managing for optimal benefit is important, so go over everything and try all these tips for the best results!
Norjan Ismail Abbas