Forget airbags, cup holders and cruise control. Your next car needs to showcase unparalleled in-car gadgetry that even Tony Stark would find impressive. Here are five of our favourite examples.
Barking orders at Siri may seem like a digital equivalent of having an in-car butler but we expect much more than that in our next motor. For one thing, Honda has been trialling a car technology that will drop you off and then park on its own accord. Not only that, it will pick you up from your current location if you call your car from a smartphone. No more navigating those windy NCP car parks, then.
Known in the motorsport as Kinetic energy recovery systems or KERS, regenerative braking has only just begun filtering down to a number of supercars like the forthcoming Enzo Ferrari replacement. The clever technology basically stores up energy when you brake, helping to recharge a car's electric battery and/or provide a temporary boost in power. In a full electric car this means a better range and in hybrids it helps with emissions and fuel efficiency.
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Cars are increasingly laden with clever gadgetry but a few areas have never really changed – the windscreen's always been a simple glass panel. Fortunately, certain manufacturers are making headways into the world of heads-up displays and augmented reality. This means your next car could highlight potentially dangerous driving ahead, guide you to your nearest petrol station and display your current speed without needing to take your eyes off the road. Jet fighter technology in a car? Yes please.
Enhanced safety systems
Glance away for one second and you could find yourself picking bits of the car in front out of your bumper. Fortunately, manufacturers like Volvo and Porsche have adapted their adaptive cruise control systems, which monitor the distance between you and a car ahead, to include an emergency braking system. Some systems will even warn you if you veer out of a lane. So even if your reflexes aren't up for an emergency stop, your car is. Best of all? Some insurers will knock money off for having it – assuming it works better than in the video above.
If you happen to own a Range Rover Evoque, you will know it has a clever dual screen. Like expensive televisions, this almost magic display technology lets the passenger and driver watch two different things simultaneously. This means your passenger can sneak in a DVD while you can use the sat-nav to stay on course – saving you from arguing over whether it was the second or third exit at the roundabout. Peaceful bliss – until you have kids kicking the back of your chair, that is.
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