Coming Soon: Top Tech Cars for 2013
With sales of new cars still down since the recession, automakers are doing their best to provide incentive for consumers to trade in their old vehicles for brand new models. And one of the ways they are doing that is with gadgets, gadgets, and more gadgets. By all accounts, 2013 is set to be a big year for tech cars, from the ultra-connected to the ultra-convenient. If you’re like most Americans and you haven’t been in the market for a new car in a while, you might be quite surprised to see just how far technology has come. What’s on the horizon? Self-driving cars that can navigate you through traffic jams, vehicles fully connected to a 4G LTE online network, and headlights that can cut around individual raindrops. Your biggest question might be, why can’t cars fly yet?
1. Infiniti JX 35 SUV
Although this SUV is winning points for its sleek exterior and comfortable drive, the real reason it stands out is because of its incredible technological capabilities. It’s the first car to offer Infiniti Connection technology, the brand’s version of OnStar. The car can integrate with your Google calendar, inform you of maintenance needs, send for roadside assistance, and more. If you’re a parent letting your teen driver use the car, you can set up speed limits and get notified by text or email when the car goes over them. The car is also equipped with the new Backup Intervention and Collision Intervention systems. You can pull up a 360-degree view of the area around your car on your dashboard, monitoring your blind spots and looking out for vehicles that might cross your path. The brake system will even apply itself to stop a collision from occurring.
2. Cadillac XTS
The 2013 Cadillac is bursting with new technology, from its touchscreen dashboard to its ability to integrate with your smartphone. The sleek and roomy vehicle also has a rear view camera, which works so well that you can drive backwards using your dashboard view alone. It also offers the Automatic Collision Preparation, which puts on the brakes automatically when the threat of a crash is detected. But the most innovative technology that the new Cadillac offers is part of its Driver Awareness Package called the Lane Departure Warning. If you’re drifting too far to the left or right, the seat actually tingles, letting you know if you’re being distracted behind the wheel. It can also alert drivers who might be falling asleep, which makes it a really important advance in vehicle safety.
3. Nissan Altima
The mid-size 2013 Altima was designed to be much different than other mid-size vehicles on the market. It comes with all the usual tech trimmings – Bluetooth, Pandora, wireless charging, anda solid navigation system. You can also perform Google searches on your screen, and Nissan has hinted at the possibility of integrating more apps in the future. Many of the safety features of other cars are combined in the Altima into one rear-view camera, which is capable of blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning, as well as notifying the driver of moving objects through its alert system. The camera even cleans itself from time to time. The Altima’s alert system can even tell you when your tires are low, and it will beep the horn at you if you over-inflate them. Best of all, Nissan has put together a high-tech car that is also pretty affordable.
4. BMW M5
For 2013, the new BMW is switching to turbocharged engines and an advanced heating and cooling system in an effort to improve both performance and comfort. But it’s also being hailed as the most innovative vehicle when it comes to infotainment, with its entertainment screens behind the front seats that allow passengers to watch movies and control a nine-speaker audio system by remote control. The car has a split-view front camera as well as a rear camera, and the voice command can initiate calls to people on your contact list when connected to an iPhone. The iDrive system, which controls the car’s functions, now features BMW apps, so you can connect to Facebook and Twitter feeds right on the vehicle’s LCD.
There are plenty of technological advances to come, including those self-driving vehicles and cars that are entirely run by android technology. While automobile manufacturers might take their time working out the glitches, it’s safe to say that technology is changing the way people drive and making you safer on the road. If there’s ever been a year to trade in your clunker for an innovative new set of wheels, this could be it.