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High-tech Gadgets Hit the Road

It used to be Agent 007 enjoying the sweetest ride on the road. But that was before. Nowadays, each driver is given the opportunity to ride high-tech autos. That fact makes James Bond jealous for sure.

Spectacular auto features are now made available by automakers but they also come with awesome price tags. Nonetheless, these gadgets are worth it. From push-button parking to night vision systems, today's auto and car features are simply fascinating.

A few years ago, a vehicle could show the driver the location via digital map. The car could take control when it begins to skid. It could also automatically maintain a set of distance from the car in front. However, these auto features are becoming increasingly common. Hence, there has to be something more interesting and useful.

What's next? How about a car that parks itself? Drivers who are oftentimes faced with parking problems will find the Lexus Intelligent Park Assist system pretty much beneficial. The said feature is available on the Toyota Prius and offered as an option on the redesigned LS models. Essentially, the system enables the driver to pull up to an available parking space by just pressing a button. According to Lexus, the driver only has to apply a little braking pressure.

If you find the Intelligent Park Assist system not that beneficial, you may find a system that keeps an eye on blind spots interesting. According to statistics, many road accidents occur when the driver tries to change lanes without being aware of a vehicle in his "blind spot." This is the reason why Audi and Volvo formulated their versions of systems that answers this quandary.

Audi's Side Assist system, launched in the new 2007 Q7 SUV, uses radar to detect other vehicles. Volvo's Blind Spot Information System, available on the new S80 sedan, uses cameras. The systems are not complicated. It does not need the assistance of Audi rotors or of a Volvo head gasket to function well. It could function just with the rearview mirror. Both systems utilize LED displays near each outside rearview mirror to warn a driver that he should not try to change lanes because a car is in or is rapidly approaching a vehicle's blind spot.

Another high-tech auto feature is called the sophisticated night vision. BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz introduced updated versions of the Night Vision system, which was initially offered by Cadillac. The systems allow a driver to detect objects and passersby beyond the reach of a vehicle's headlights. The system uses infrared technology to sense heat from people, animals, stopped vehicles, and other objects up to several hundred feet in front of the car.

The precollision system is also awesome. The system is engineered to detect an impending collision and automatically adopt measures to avoid it. Some automakers use radar to detect and alarm and warning lights to alerts drivers of a possible crash. If the driver did not respond immediately, the system take the necessary steps like applying brakes, shutting windows, adjusting seat positions for maximum air-bag effectiveness, and activating safety-belt pretensioners. Lexus has formulated the Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) to avoid "preventable" collisions.

On-the-road entertainment is also booming. Portable audio systems like iPods and MP3 players are now auto compatible. Mercedes-Benz, for one, offers a glove-box-mounted iPod-docking station. It gives power for the iPod and enables the driver to use the car's steering-wheel to operate it. High Definition (HD) Radio systems and Bluetooth technology are also offered as part of the auto package.

About The Author Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.
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