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Technology Features Make The Road Safer For Drivers

By Michelle Mears-Gerst

Today’s vehicles from entry level to luxury offer a variety of features improving safety, comfort and entertainment. We are not talking about automatic roll down windows, airbags or voice activated radio, today’s vehicles, seem to be morphing into drivable computers with high tech technology.

Take the Ford Fusion for example, the car was designed to be fuel-efficient and offers a few models like the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid. Each Fusion is powered by a combination electric motor and gas-sipping 2.0L Atkinson-cycle I-4 gasoline engine. The Fusion Hybrid monitors your driving habits by using SmartGauge® with EcoGuide that gives you feedback on how to drive more fuel-efficient.

Ford also focused on safety when it came to designing the Fusion Model Series. The BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert helps drivers by using radar in the rear quarter panels. The radar identifies if a vehicle is detected in your blind spot and the system sends an alert. Cross-traffic alert uses radar to watch for traffic when you are backing out of a spot.

“Most customers are coming in looking for style first then price, the features both standard and add-ons are enjoyed by todays drivers but they don’t always make or break the sale,” said Sales Manager Jim Follmar at Tuttle Click Ford and Lincoln in Irvine, California.

“But once they have the new features like rear view assist they get used to having it and will want it for their next vehicle purchase,” said Follmar.

The luxury line of Lincoln cars can be equipped with parking assistance and lane departing warnings.

Lincoln was designed to make driving easier for the operator with features like the Electric power-assisted steering (EPAS).  EPAS provides an easy steering at low speeds and a controlled feel at higher speeds. It  adapts to changing road conditions and compensates for irregularities caused by factors such as a crowned road surface and crosswinds. The Lane Keeping System is perfect for drivers with long commutes, unintentionally drifting out of the driving lane can happen to even the best of drivers.  The Lane Keeping System consists of one lane-keeping aid that applies a steering torque and vibration on the steering wheel to alert you to steer back to the target lane. The LKS will not steer the vehicle over for you but it makes a great wingman for the road.

Sales Manager Bobby Zywiec at Mossy Nissan in San Diego, California said, “The new features are not a hot button for our customers but they are happy to the have them once they learn about them.”

Zywiec said Nissan customers are very educated consumers, but they don’t always see an immediate value in the new high tech features.

A popular car among gadget buffs is the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. “The Leaf is equipped with cameras all around the car, and it gets 100 miles per charge. If you drive downhill the car will actually recharge itself,” said Zywiec.

An entry-level car called the Dart is loaded with gadgets and growing in popularity among the baby boomers.

Adam Tahan a salesperson with Jeep Chrysler Dodge of Ontario in Ontario California said the Dart has many technological features that make driving easier for seniors. One of features found only in the Dodge Dart is Uconnect. Uconnect® is a touchscreen, featuring AM/FM/CD/MP3 and available SiriusXM Satellite Radio+ with replay mode. Get up-to-the-minute weather, fuel prices, sports, and movie listings with available Garmin® Navigation and SiriusXM Travel Link+.

“The touchscreen on the Uconnect is 8.4 inches making it easy to read and use which helps those whose vision may not be as great as it once was,” said Tahan.

Tahan said the Dart is also a great choice with his technological features for young teen drivers.

“The simplicity of the technology the Dart offers has earned the design awards and accolades in the industry. I also bought a Dart for my teenage daughter,” said Tahan. “The Dart is a hot car especially for its price you can walk out with a lot of car for $21,000.”