New York, NY – (April 10, 2019): While most of today’s automotive headlines seem focused on the future of electric and autonomous vehicles, there’s plenty of tech that’s new and exciting in more conventional areas as well – from headlamps to tailgates and everywhere in between. And the New York International Auto Show is the place to find them.
Safety is at the forefront for every automaker and today’s new vehicles are the safest ever, with a host of features and technologies that could only be imagined just a few years ago.
Distracted driving has been identified as a major cause of vehicle crashes, so some luxury brands now offer driver-monitoring devices to provide a warning if the driver’s attention wanders. So, too, does the more mainstream Subaru Forester with its DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System (DMS). It uses a combination of conventional and near-infrared interior cameras to monitor the driver’s face and identify signs of drowsiness or distraction, based on eye movement.
A key feature for city dwellers, the Hyundai Santa Fe’s Safe Exit Assist system locks the rear doors if it detects an oncoming vehicle or a bicycle approaching in the adjacent lane, when it is stopped. The locks are released once the vehicle passes. Jaguar’s i-Pace offers a similar system that sounds a warning rather than locking the doors.
By 2022, almost all new models will feature Automatic Front Collision Warning and Emergency Braking, which applies a vehicle’s brakes automatically to prevent or mitigate the severity of an imminent crash.
Headlamps are something we tend to take for granted. With the advent of new technologies such as LED lamps, however, the range of headlamp characteristics and performance has expanded dramatically. Recognizing the critical importance of their function, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has added ‘Good’ headlamp performance to its criteria for a Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Blind Spot Information Systems, including some with cross-traffic alert, to warn of vehicles approaching from either side, are now available on multiple models. Ford has upped the ante on that technology by making it functional on certain F-Series pickups, even when towing trailers up to 8.5 feet wide and 33 feet long.
Keeping drivers and occupants informed, not just of safety concerns but of just about everything going on in the outside world, is now an expected function of new vehicles. Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto compatibility is now widespread, as is onboard wireless connectivity. Several models, including the new Hyundai Sonata, also offer wireless charging for your smartphone in a specifically-designed storage tray.
Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX infotainment system brings cutting edge communications tech and AI learning capabilities to a new level for vehicles. It includes haptic touchpad controls, wide-screen augmented reality video graphics and plain-language voice controls initiated just by saying, “Hey, Mercedes!”
For those who still care what’s under the hood, the Infiniti QX50’s 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine features a long-sought technical breakthrough – variable compression ratio. Using a sophisticated, computer-controlled mechanical linkage in place of conventional connecting rods enables the compression ratio to be varied according to driving conditions, to optimize both fuel efficiency and performance.
One of the latest areas of technical one-upmanship has become the humble pickup-truck box and tailgate. Ram 1500 pickups now offer lockable storage boxes within the rear fenders plus a tailgate that swings not just down, as one piece, but sideways, with a 60/40 split.
The GMC Sierra’s available MultiPro tailgate goes even farther. Literally a tailgate within a tailgate, it offers up to six separate configurations, including a fold-down step and a torso-height work surface, as well a load-stop for extended-length loads and available Bluetooth speakers within the tailgate.
If that’s not over-the-top enough, you can always opt for a genuine carbon-fiber pickup box.
Headlamp to tailgate, there are interesting technologies everywhere you look at the auto show.
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What: More than 1,000 new cars, trucks and SUVs on display at the 2019 New York International Auto Show including more than 50 never-before-seen models.
Where: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue (btw 34th and 40th Sts.)
When: Press days: Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18.
Public show: Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 28.
Who: The world’s auto manufacturers will display new vehicles, concept cars, one-off racecars, far-reaching autonomous cars, and electric and hybrid vehicles.
Why: To tell the story of the hottest trends in the auto industry and give consumers in the nation’s largest DMA an opportunity to make decisions on their next vehicle purchase.