Traffic has always been a problem in major cities. In a time when the problem is exacerbated by the increasing number of vehicles on the road, it is a good thing that car manufacturers have created technologies to help commuters handle the traffic situation better. Listed below are five new technologies designed to assist drivers in long commutes.
Hands free calling was impressive back in the day, but that’s nothing compared to what in-car connectivity will enable people to do. These days, new cars are equipped with in-car Wi-Fi and mobile apps to keep the driver preoccupied when stuck in traffic. Because the technology brings the likes of Facebook, Pandora and Yelp from the smartphone to the vehicle’s display, the driver can keep his/her eyes on the road and his/her hands on the wheel. The car owner will also spend less on wireless data fees. With the in-car apps, one can further enjoy commute time, no matter how long it is.
Improved Navigation Systems
The newer navigation systems do more than just offer real-time traffic details; these also provide side street traffic flow information. These will allow the driver to re-route by determining the best path to the intended destination should conditions change. The more complex systems also take into consideration weather information when recommending a particular route. This means improved safety and less commute time for the driver and other passengers.
Traffic Light Information Systems
With the introduction of infrastructure-to-vehicle communications, drivers can better navigate the roads and deal with gridlocks through traffic light information systems. Traffic lights can inform the vehicle how long the driver will be waiting at the stop light so he/she can do something else other than wait for the light to change. These will also enable the vehicle to inform the driver of the recommended speed for ‘green wave,’ so that he/she can continuously pass through several traffic lights without needing to stop.
Moreover, the lights will tell the vehicle when it cannot get through a green light, resulting in the activation of the engine start-stop feature. Indeed, traffic light information systems don’t only lessen stress and wasted time, but also helps reduce wasted fuel, emissions and the wear and tear of brakes.
Engine Start-Stop Feature
Speaking of engine start-stop features, these shut down the engine during prolonged stops, like waiting for the light to turn green or when stuck in unmoving traffic. The engine comes back to life after the driver takes off the brake pedal. This is most helpful in reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy.
Brake Hold Systems
If hill hold assist systems let drivers keep their brakes for some time to prevent the vehicle from moving forward or backward, brake hold systems let drivers keep brake pressure during longer periods (such as waiting at long stoplights) on flat surfaces. In some systems, activation is through the double-pressing of the brake pedal after a stop. Meanwhile, other systems are activated by pressing a button on the steering wheel. Automakers which already have this feature on some of their models include Acura, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.