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Latest Car Technology is Affordable, Says Edmunds

July 11, 2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Car features such as automated parking and Wi-Fi hotspots will be available —and affordable — to most mainstream drivers a lot sooner than they might have expected, according to Edmunds.com.

“We’re just now seeing the first generation of some mind-blowing car technology that will simplify all of our lives,” says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Ronald Montoya. “But what’s even more remarkable is that automakers are quickly pushing these technologies into high-volume production vehicles, so you don’t have to pay an extreme price tag to get a taste of the latest and greatest innovations.”

Edmunds.com’s report, “Six Car Technologies that Will Simplify Your Life,” offers a look at some of the top innovations, including pilot parking, easy-fill tire alert, Wi-Fi hotspots, and hydrophobic windows and more.

For example, Ford and Toyota sell vehicles that can steer themselves into a parking space with the driver manipulating the gas and brake pedals. Now Audi is developing a piloted parking technology that lets youleave the car running at a drop-off area in a specially designated parking lot, where you choose an open space with a smartphone app and let the car do all the work. The vehicle will use its Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) cameras to navigate the lot and park itself in the pre-determined space.

The 2013 Nissan Altima makes it easier to maintain air pressure in your tires, which is the easiest way to save gas and minimize vehicle wear and tear. Just connect the air tube to the tire, and the Easy-Fill Tire Alert will chirp the horn once the tire pressure reaches the recommended setting. The alert also works when a driver lets the air out of an overfilled tire.

Chrysler currently offers a $505 Uconnect Access upgrade to the 2013 Ram 1500's infotainment system. The package adds a Sprint 3G cellular modem, which provides a Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices up to 150 feet away. Uconnect Access will also be available on the 2013 SRT Viper and the more affordable 2014 Jeep Cherokee. And by 2015, General Motors plans to equip most of its models with a 4G LTE modem that will also provide even faster WiFi hotspots.

Hydrophobic windows are available on the 2014 Kia Cadenza. The technology improves visibility in rainy weather and makes for easier drying after the car is washed by causing water to bead up and slide off the vehicle’s windows.

To read the report, click here.

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