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Auto Technology: New Car Gadgets

Vehicular technology is improving at very high pace, here is some of new advancement in it.

1. Automatic high-beam control
Some of the new redesigned cars offers a system that automatically illuminates and dims the high-beam headlights with respect to the approaching traffic. A camera on the rear view mirror detects when the vehicle is closing in on oncoming traffic, as well as vehicles ahead traveling in the same direction, and disengages the high beams. Adaptive High beam Assist is one step ahead it does not switch only between low and high beams, but reacts by gradually increasing or lowering the light distribution based on the distance of approaching traffic.
2. Cameras
Multiple cameras are provided in cars to enlarged fields of view when parking the car or when car is in reverse. Valeo-multicamera system employs three to five cameras, depending on the model of car, to display a panoramic view when parking. Precise distances are indicated by lines on the image. It also sounds an alarm when the vehicle closes in on an unseen object. These cameras provides 360-degree view used for parking purposes.
3. Night vision with pedestrian detection
Night vision in vehicles is a old technology offered by Cadillac in 2000. The updated version is called Night View Assist Plus.This system pinpoints pedestrians, highlighting them on a dashboard display. BMW has a similar system with a pedestrian identifier that also shows the direction the pedestrian is moving. As the distance closes between pedestrian and vehicle, a warning appears on the night vision monitor as well as the head-up display on the windshield if so equipped. BMW offers this system on the 2009 7 Series.
4. Rear-mounted radar
Rear-pointing radar has been around for a few years alerting drivers to unseen objects immediately behind them.The new radar technology searches for approaching cross traffic. When it "sees" traffic approaching while you're backing up, it sounds an alarm. It includes visual indicators in the outboard mirrors. Ford's system is called Cross Traffic Alert. Offered in the just-released 2010 Fusion and Mercury Milan, it also has outboard mirror alarm indicators.
5. Parental control
Parents who are afraid their teen driver might speed or be distracted by playing the vehicle's audio system at an excessive volume can use Ford's new MyKey system to limit speed and volume. When programmed, MyKey limits the speed to 80 miles per hour. It can also be programmed to limit the audio volume and to sound a continuous alarm if seat belts are left unfastened.
6.GPS vehicle tracking
Parents who wants to keep track of their child can purchase the LiveViewGPS Live Trac PT-10. Retailing for $550 with a $40 per month subscription fee, it is a GPS tracking system that updates a vehicle's position every 10 seconds. It only requires Internet access. Small and portable, the tracking device can be moved easily. It can also alert parents through their cell phone if the vehicle's preset speed threshold is exceeded or if the vehicle enters/exits certain areas.It is useful product for businesses that need to track their fleet vehicles.

7. Driver capability

This technology measures the driver's fitness and issues warnings when a driver is judged overly tired or impaired. It remembers a driver's normal behavior behind the wheel and establishes it as the driver's baseline profile. Continually measuring factors such as speed, lateral acceleration, steering wheel angle, pedal use and so forth, the system determines if there is any deviation from the baseline. If so, it alerts the driver visually and audibly that it's break time. Even external influences such as crosswind and road surface are factored in.

8. In-car Internet

The first system to turn your vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot is Autonet Mobile. Using a portable router mounted in the trunk or other out-of-the-way location, this system uses a 3G or 4G network to supply an uninterrupted signal regardless of cell tower blind spots, tunnels and so forth. In addition to the $399 router, there is a monthly subscription fee of either $29 or $59 based on estimated usage.
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