As with old cell phones, it can be difficult to unlock everything a new generation car can do. There are built-in virtual assistants, highly advanced radar and sensor systems, built-in electronic chips, as well as the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), and most models are priced at R7 lakh or more has some if not all of these features. So, are you getting the most out of your vehicles? take a look.
New generation cars are smarter and more aware of their surroundings, which helps when one is parking, reversing, etc., but they can also recognize traffic lights and scan road signs, for example, alerting you if you’re speeding in a school district.
In what is referred to as Level 2 autonomous driving, ADAS uses sensors, radar and cameras to perceive aspects such as street furniture, very close traffic, and even driver attention levels (based on steering and throttle input).
Some variants of Mahindra XUV 700 and MG Astor SUVs have sensors that will also keep the vehicle within its lane (on properly marked roads), scan speed signs, and even headlights angled downward when they detect oncoming traffic.
ADAS has changed the rules of the game since it debuted in luxury cars a few years ago. It is now available in many cars with price tags R15 lakh or more.
Another game changer is the eSIM. These chips work much like SIM cards, meaning that in addition to remote locking and unlocking the car using a phone, the car can link to apps like Tata Motors’ iRA (found in the Altroz hatchback), Hyundai’s Bluelink i20 and Creta, Two cars in completely different price segments offer this) and Skoda’s MySkoda Connect to allow the user to turn on the air conditioner a few minutes before leaving the house, make audio requests for music, or geo-locate a car so that it can only go so far after it has been delivered to the servant (or offspring of an adolescent).
The eSIM also enables “parking mode” navigation, meaning the car can now help the driver find the nearest gas station, electric vehicle charging point, rest stop, and restaurant, as well as set reminders for service appointments, provide intrusion alerts, and work items such as Lights and temperature remotely or by voice command.
In 2021, the Mahindra XUV 700 becomes the first car in India to offer the option of integration built into the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant. Indian startup Mihup Communications is helping cars build vernacular capabilities, too. Tata cars can now understand Hindi, English and English.
Between sensors, ADAS and apps, cars can now talk to their owners about how they’re doing too, in a holistic approach to diagnostics that positively impacts safety standards.
Something as simple as a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) can help prevent accidents, as it alerts the owner if the pressure in any of the tires starts to drop. Skoda has added a complex multi-collision brake feature to the new Slavia sedan, in which intelligent algorithms will allow safety systems to intervene and automatically manage the brakes to mitigate secondary impact in the event of a high-speed accident where airbags have been deployed.
Of course, such a large amount of software brings with it the risk of errors or malfunctions, but such problems are the exception rather than the rule. The truth is, it would be hard to imagine going back to the cars we drove a decade ago. As current technology improves and more is added, it is only a matter of time before, like many smartphones, the technology in each model is state-of-the-art.
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