Technology will captivate attendees of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, through Feb. 20. Manufacturers are as creative with new gizmos as they are with horsepower, torque and towing.
Let’s take a look at the creations of three car makers that will be on display at the show. Then, let’s peer into the future and update the status of the driverless car.
Honda Sensing. The package includes gadgetry such as passive entry with push-button start, automatic headlight control, an electronic parking brake feature that holds the brakes at stoplights, a fully digital driver information display, a multi-angle backup camera, and an 8-speaker audio system tied to a quick-witted 7-inch capacitive touch screen infotainment center with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
Safety comes from Honda’s exclusive Lane Watch system, which employs a small camera mounted in the passenger-side mirror to display a view down the right side of the vehicle onto the infotainment screen, as well as full-range adaptive cruise control that maintains a user-defined distance behind the vehicle ahead, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist, which nudges you back to the center of the lane if the car begins to drift.
The combination of safety, entertainment and convenience earned the Kelley Blue Book award for Best Auto Tech.
Ford SYNC 3 AppLink. With most smartphone owners saying they use navigation apps while driving, Ford is introducing new SYNC 3 AppLink capability that will project navigation apps directly from a smartphone to the vehicle touch screen. The new SYNC 3 AppLink capability will help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel while using the apps they need.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, 67 percent of drivers use their smartphones occasionally for turn-by-turn navigation when driving, and 31 percent frequently use smartphone navigation apps. When a smartphone is paired to the vehicle via USB cable, control of the app is temporarily removed from the phone. The app is automatically projected to the vehicle touch screen making the navigation more convenient to manage. The technology aims to reduce a driver’s urge to pick up and look at his or her phone.
Chevrolet MyLink. Chevy’s MyLink organizes your smartphone features on the 8-inch diagonal color touch screen display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Pandora Internet Radio are all compatible and available. Teen Driver Technology is an available built-in system that helps parents track their teens’ driving performance and can encourage teens to make safe decisions behind the wheel. The famous OnStar navigation system has been updated so that it can now send turn-by-turn directions straight to the MyLink app.
Safety features offered include alert systems for blind zones, rear cross traffic, forward collision, and lane departure. An advanced braking system helps keep drivers and passengers safe, and ten air bags protect those inside if necessary. A pedestrian protection system is available on certain models. Keyless open and start features are also available.