When you’re shopping for a new car, you’ll encounter all kinds of features for comfort, convenience and entertainment. Not every flashy add-on is worth the money, but here are a few bits of new car technology for 2019 that can make your driving experience a whole lot more fun.
Apps and Voice Control
You already use your phone for just about everything, so why not connect it to your car? Many automakers now offer apps to allow you to remotely lock or unlock doors, start or stop the engine, check fuel levels or tire pressure, request roadside assistance or even find your car the next time you forget where you parked!
If you prefer voice commands, it’s now possible to access similar functions for several car brands right from your smart speaker by linking to your Amazon Echo using Alexa skills. Echo Auto brings Alexa into the car for voice-controlled music, news, navigation and more.
One of the coolest new car features turns your vehicle into a hotspot for you and anyone riding along to use as they please. No more wasting cellular data on navigation or streaming music! And your passengers are free to scroll through social media, listen to their own tunes or even get some work done during the drive.
Some manufacturers have free introductory offers for in-car Wi-Fi before they begin charging a monthly fee. Compare the price to your current cellular plan to determine which is cheaper before making the investment. Just beware your coworkers might start asking you to head up the carpool a little more often if you go for this option!
Backup cameras are great if your kids have a habit of leaving their bikes and toys in the driveway or you hate craning your neck when inching out of tight parking spaces, but visibility is still limited. Cars are now starting to come equipped with cameras all around the outside of the vehicle, which can give you a literal 360-degree view. The image appears as if you’re looking down at the top of the car, making it a whole lot easier to gauge how close you are to what’s around you and avoid unwanted collisions.
Zoned Climate Control
The war over how hot or cold to keep the car when you’re driving with a group is over thanks to new zoned controls. Just like in a house with zoned heating and cooling, these systems let the driver and passenger choose their own temperature settings. Some systems include controls for back seat passengers, as well. When everyone can adjust the temperature to their own liking, you don’t have to spend the entire ride listening to one kid complain about being too hot while the other huddles in the corner making remarks about the coming of another ice age.
Incredibly Comfortable Seats
Some car makers are taking the concept of zoning one step further by including heating and ventilation right in the seats. Imagine sliding into a perfectly cool driver’s seat on a blistering summer day or warming yourself literally from the bottom up as you head into work in the dead of winter. You can even get seats with built-in massagers and have a miniature spa experience while you drive! If you hate extreme temperatures or struggle with back pain, you don’t want to skip this option.
To choose the best new car features for you, consider your lifestyle and driving habits. Remember, you don’t need every shiny new toy. Pay only for the tech that will give you the right combination of safety, fun and comfort when you hit the road.
About the Author
Theresa “Sam” Houghton is a writer, speaker and health coach from Troy, NY. She’s a regular contributor to NutritionStudies.org, and her work has appeared in the Honest Weight Food Co-Op Coop Scoop, Natural Awakenings Magazine and the NutritionFacts.org 2017 Daily Dozen calendar. She has been a featured guest on Focus on Albany, WMAC’s Food Friday and the Just Ask David podcast. When she's not writing or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, cook tasty plant-based food and knit socks.You can find out more about Sam at GreenGutWellness.com.