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How in-car technology is improving our drives

In-car technology used to be an added bonus, and extra selling point for a customer to consider. Now, the idea of a car without some form of in-car tech offering is almost laughable. It’s almost become an “as standard” offering for cars to have some sort of in-car techy, whether it is an improvement for the vehicle’s driving performance or entertainment for the passengers.

With this in mind, what leaps and bounds can we expect from in-car innovative technology in the near future? Bentley Bentayga dealership, Grange Motorparks, investigates…

Upgrading efficiency

JLR’s weather adaptation system

According to Jaguar Land Rover, their newest vehicles are set to be equipped with weather adaption technology. The system allows cars to autonomously adapt to weather changes and situations to make adjustments to drivetrain, suspension, traction control and climate control for optimum efficient driving. The intelligent system will be particularly useful to Land Rover and Range Rover models, such as the new Land Rover Discovery Sport Hse, that drives on all terrains. The system is said to be able to connect to present and future weather data via telematics and GPS to sensibly adapt both inside the cabin and around the exterior. One feature suggests that the system will automatically close your vehicle windows if it senses that rain is forecast. Onboard rain- and terrain-sensing mechanisms will be used to control the temperature, pressure and humidity inside the cabin, whilst interior and exterior lighting will be altered depending on the circumstances.

Along with JLR’s autonomous technology and electric cars, the weather adaption system is set to arrive in 2020.

The ECO-pedal

The one-pedal driving system is fast approaching in Nissan’s new Leaf model. The electric automobile not only has double the mileage range of its previous model equivalents, but the one-pedal driving system allows for the accelerator pedal to be transformed into a multifunctioning e-pedal at a touch. The e-pedal functions as a start, stop, accelerate and breaking pedal when activated. Suitable for 90% of urban driving, the system means that the car will slow to a halt by itself with the ability to hold itself on an incline without the need of the brake pedal.

Compared to previous models, the new Nissan model is set to up its efficiency game. Nicknamed the ECO-pedal system, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent revving up the engine. The level of fuel-efficient driving is displayed through a colour and flashing Eco-P lamp. According to Nissan, studies have proven that effective eco-driving with the ECO-pedal can contribute to an improved fuel efficiency by 5-10%.

Are our vehicles safer for this new technology?

Autonomous vehicles are rapidly making their way from fiction to reality. Most manufacturers now offer self-driving technology as part of their latest models – with most used to improve road safety.

Keeping you in the right line

Lane-keeping systems are already on our roads. These systems keep you within your lane when driving on the motorway. When motorway driving, it’s vital that you stay firmly in your lane, unless you are overtaking. This system alerts you with a vibration on the steering wheel if your vehicle is unintentionally edging out of its lane – and in circumstances when the vehicle thinks you are reacting too slow, the vehicle will take control and provide steering torque to divert you back into the safe space on your lane. This is a safety feature to prevent drivers from veering out of their lane on motorways and dual carriageways where drivers around them are driving at high speeds.

Digital eyes for your blind spots

With the use of Blind Spot Information Systems (BLIS), drivers are alerted to vehicles in their blind spots as they switch lanes. When a vehicle enters your blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert you. The detection area is on both sides of your vehicle, extending rearward from the exterior mirrors to approximately 10 feet (3 meters) beyond the bumper. The system alerts you via a small light on your side wing mirrors – when there is a vehicle in your blind spot zone, the light will illuminate. When your blind spot zone is clear, the light will switch off.

ISA

ISA (Intelligent speed assist) lets drivers know when they are breaking the speed limit. By using GPS, the system is able to detect the vehicle location and reference this with a digital road map that is programmed with speed limit information for each road. The system can be used as an active speed limiter whereby it can take control of the vehicle and reduce the speed when travelling above the speed limit. It does this by reducing the throttle signal. Additionally, the system is also fitted with a speed limiting function that increases the pressure on the accelerator when you exceed the speed limit, so that it is harder to accelerate and break the speed limit.

Quick charging for EV’s

Manufacturers have been working on developing faster charging EV batteries for several years now and the new quick charging batteries are said to achieve full power in just 30 minutes.  Researchers claim they could have developed an ‘instantly rechargeable’ method that recharges an electric battery in the same time as it would take to fill a gas tank – a solution to the biggest headache of electric vehicles. This would revolutionise the EV industry, as battery life and its charge has been the biggest challenge for the industry. Electricity suppliers such as Northern Powergrid have also been providing essential services such as EV charger installation to help make things easier for EV owners.

In-car technology is certainly experiencing an exciting time in terms of upgrades and innovation. With a positive future of technology ahead of us, we can expect to see the driving process, and experience, completely transformed in the coming years.

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