Technology accelerates Chicago show

2013-02-08T00:00:00Z Technology accelerates Chicago showBob Kroupa Automotive Writers Group
February 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

 Today’s automotive technology comes in all shapes and forms. Its innovation continues to accelerate and plays a major role in providing consumers with many new safety and convenience features.

Chrysler Group brings inductive charging to market as an option on the compact 2013 Dodge Dart.

Cell phones and other rechargeable devices are simply placed on a powered mat conveniently located in front of the shift console for recharging thereby eliminating the need for connector cords.

The 2013 Nissan Altima is loaded with some new innovation features that are bound to take camera technology to the next level with rear camera advancement.

Using a single rear-mounted camera, Nissan provides lane departure warning, blind spot detection and moving object detection when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse. The detection transmits both visual and audio signals.

Nissan is first in the industry to provide a self-cleaning capability for the camera lens.

It works when a drop of windshield wiper cleaning solution is carried from the front of the car to the back and released onto the camera lens. An air compressor then releases a burst of air to finish the process and dry the camera lens to clarity.

A rolling revolution

Manufacturers are now required to have every new production vehicle equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that detects and warns a driver when the vehicle tire pressure is below minimum acceptable levels.

Nissan’s 2013 Altima embraces the requirement and is first to market with their Easy Fill Tire Alert system that simplifies adding air to any under-inflated tire without the need for a tire gauge.

As the driver adds air to the affected tire, the vehicle’s four-way flashers pulse to show air is entering the tire. When the tire reaches the proper inflation level, a horn emits a single chirp.

Three chirps and faster pulsing flashers indicate there is too much air added.

Infiniti has fine-tuned its Backup Collision Intervention System with an automatic stop feature that is activated when the vehicle is in reverse and an object is detected in vehicle’s path.

The system also provides a 360-degree view of the area around the vehicle and provides an audible tone when moving objects are seen in front or rear surroundings of the vehicle moving in the reverse mode.

Inventing awareness

The 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS models have introduced a network of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors designed to help drivers avoid crashes by improving their vision and awareness of road hazards.

A feature of the system is automatic braking if the sensors predict the vehicle is at risk of crashing.

Cadillac XTS and ATS models have a Safety Sent Alert System that alerts the driver of an impending risk. Directional seat vibrations on either the left or right side of the driver’s seat cushion bolster activates to accurately focus driver attention to the direction of a potential crash.

Another ATS model feature is Performance Algorithm Liftfoot that detects when the driver demands more performance from the vehicle while taking a curve and automatically drops the transmission to a lower gear providing a degree of engine braking and improving acceleration out of the curve.

These and other innovations no doubt contributed to the 2013 Cadillac ATS being chosen to receive the 2013 North American Car of the Year Award.

Pre-Safe advancement

While Mercedes-Benz introduced their Pre-Safe technology in 2002, they have spent a decade improving and expanding its features on 40 of their current models.

Pre-Safe is a safety system directed at protecting the driver and passengers with the latest safety technology and equipment.

The 2014 S-Class has several Pre-Safe enhancements: the Pre-Safe Brake with pedestrian braking will stop the vehicle from speeds up to 31 miles per hour if a pedestrian or object is noted in the vehicle’s path.

Pre-Safe Plus can prepare the driver for a rear-end collision; and, the Pre-Safe Impulse can pull the driver and front-seat passenger away from the direction of impact by their seat belts at an early stage in the crash.

These and more innovative technological developments are available for visitors to explore at this year’s Chicago Auto Show where you can get a first-hand look at the fast-growing field of telematics for your favorite vehicle.

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