Remember the good old days with crank windows and locks you manually had to open? It seems like a lifetime ago that those existed, when in all actuality there’s still vehicles that comes with them in this day and age. Looking back through history, Packard had power windows on their vehicles all the way back in the 40s, yet it wasn’t until 90s that it became a standard option on vehicles. It can take a long time for a feature to become expected in a car.
As technology is advancing more, so are our vehicles. They’re getting faster, more fuel efficient and even using alternative fuels. Not only are vehicles getting smarter, the options are getting better and more advanced; for the most part. Cars are now entertainment hubs, and filled with so many safety and convenience features that it becomes difficult to even remember them all.
It’s scary that in this day and age you don’t even really need to pay attention while driving if you don’t want to, or learn how to park or even drive in some cases! Here is a look at some of the best car options we wish we available on all vehicles, and here are some that are just plain ridiculous.
The Honda Odyssey is the ultimate soccer mom van, and back in 2013 Honda decided to offer a built-in vacuum for an added fee of course. The vacuum is actually designed by ShopVac, comes with a 16-foot hose and all the extra tools.
According to Consumer Reports, the vacuum can feed off the car battery for up to 8 minutes, or indeterminately when the van is running.
The vacuum and upgraded sound system come as an option set, and cost an extra $2,500 to add when it first came out, that’s a whole lot of quarters, but think about how convenient it would be?
A convertible may be fun, under the right driving temperature and conditions; but it can also be awful. Back in 2004, Mercedes-Benz came up with a clever way to enjoy your convertible in cooler weather. The AirScarf system had a fan that was fabricated inside the headrest, blowing warm air on the occupant’s neck. According to Car and Driver, the AirScarf was later found to be in breach of a patent already in place, and were ordered to disable to system to any further sales, while vehicles already sold with the Airscarf were allowed to keep their luxury option.
The RamBox comes as part of the RamBox Cargo Management upgrade. According to All Par, the RamBox is available in the two smaller bed options, but not the 8-foot option. You do lose a bit of cargo space in the bed as it makes it a bit more narrow, but it seems the good outweighs the bad.
The RamBox is lockable, airtight and has cargo lights so nothing gets lost.
The RamBox also came equipped with a drain so you can used it as a cooler, and is rumoured the 2019 will come with a power outlet. In addition to the RamBox, the Cargo Management system comes with a sort of locking gate to help keep cargo in your bed in place without bungee cords or tie-downs.
Subaru recently came out with a new technology they're calling "Eyesight Driver Assist." The driver assist system with the use of cameras can detect possible dangers, like if the driver is starting to slip into the other lane. According to Auto Trader, you can also set the eyesight in bumper to bumper traffic and it will take over and do all the work, keeping the distance set by the driver between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
Hyundai was the first car manufacturer to offer a smart trunk, or a self-opening trunk back in 2015. According to Edmunds, the way the smart trunk worked is if you had the smart key in range of the sensor found on the back bumper, the trunk would then open.
The option only popped the trunk, not completely opening it.
By the following year basically every big car manufacture has since came out with their own versions of the technology, and since improved on its functions.
After a long day of work wouldn’t it be nice to get a massage on your way home? Well with massaging seats in your vehicle now you can. According to Car and Driver Mercedes and Cadillac were the first two manufacturers to add this as a luxury option in their vehicles back in 2000. Mercedes even now offers it as an option for both the front and rear seats. Drivers need to be careful not to get too relaxed while driving their cars, but this option is beloved by passengers, especially on long trips.
What even is a magic sunroof? Back in 2012 Mercedes-Benz came out with an option called the “Vario-Roof.”
Available on the SLK, the Magic Sky Control can turn the sunroofs clear glass into a tinted glass with a simple press of a button.
According to Motor Trend the Magic Sky gets its “magic” by using an electric charge to line up the Nano-particles between the glass making the glass clear. Remove the charge and the glass turns tinted.
In most states, there are laws surrounding texting and driving. Waze app can sense when a vehicle is in motion, not allowing the user to use the app when driving. A new technology that allows you to link either your Apple or Android devices to the infotainment system in the vehicle, which will then mirror your apps onto the screen inside your vehicle. According to AAA, using these new infotainment systems make completing a phone call or getting directions much safe and easier by requiring less distraction to the driver.
Night vision is a form of thermal imaging that gives you the ability to see in low light conditions. High end luxury vehicles are now offering night vision to help detect unseen hazards that you may not catch with the naked eye. According to Car and Driver, the way the technology works is by sensing infrared radiation which shows up black and cold shows up white on the display. The goal of this technology is to allow you to see things, like an animal, before the naked eye would and possibly preventing an accident.
Heated seats maybe more of a comfort option, but f you think cooled seats are a ridiculous idea, you’ve never lived in Florida with leather seats and burnt your legs every time you got into you vehicle.
While cooled seats are a newer technology (Saab offering it first) according to Hagerty, Cadillac was the first vehicle to offer heated seats, back in 1966.
Since then most large car manufacturers are offering this added option, while coming as a standard option in most luxury vehicles.
Automatic stop and start systems are a new technology being offered in cars to help save a bit of gas and hopefully reduce emission. The system is designed to shut off your engine instead of idling in traffic and then quickly restarting when needed to move. Wouldn’t this be bad for your vehicle? According to Auto Week, the engines have been redesigned with improvements to compensate for the additional stress on your vehicle from the added turnovers. Improvements like better bearings for more efficient lubricating of the internal parts of the engine and a more advanced starter were added. Only time will tell if there will be more good than bad with this option but for the time we can agree it’s really annoying when you’re in traffic.
In the past having navigation or entertainment was cutting edge technology and very useful to have. As technology started to advance as fast as it did, and the average person doesn’t upgrade their vehicle every year, the technology was quickly outdated.
Now that virtually everyone has a smartphone, people opt to use apps like Waze which can usually find the fastest route.
Same goes for entertainment system, when adding it as an option it will usually run you at least an extra $1,000, but with tablets as inexpensive as they are it makes more sense to invest in a few of those instead to keep the kids occupied.
The Rolls-Royce is one of the most luxury vehicles that money can buy. Back in 2007 the "Starlight Headliner" became an option to add to the Phantom, and has since been added to a few other Rolls-Royce models. According to Motor Authority, the starry night is achieved by installing over 1,300 lights by hand, has dimming controls and even includes shooting stars. The headliner will cost and additional 12k, and even more if you want a custom constellation design; but chances are if you’re buying a Rolls-Royce; you aren’t on a budget.
If you’ve ever owed or had the pleasure of riding in a Toyota, or any other Japanese produced vehicle from 80s you made have a heard a weird dinging noise that doesn’t even seem to faze the driver. You just had the pleasure of hearing the infamous “speed chime.” According to Auto Trader, it was illegal to go over 100 km in Japan, which is equivalent to about 60 mph. Once you reached that speed an annoying chime would cue in and not stop until your speed was back under the legal limit, and there was no way to turn off the feature.
Sometimes features are offered because they’re just cool to show off. That was probably Jaguars intention when they designed their shifter knob that is like magic and appears out of nowhere.
According to Motor Trend, Jaguar did extensive testing on the shifter and claimed they even did a spill test, as the shifter is located right next to the cupholder.
Jaguar claims they dumped an entire bottle of soda and tested the shifter over 68,000 times without failure, but forums online say otherwise.
Most people dread having to parallel park, especially if there’s an audience. More and more vehicles are coming out with a self-park system that will literally park itself, but how fool proof is it? According to Popular Mechanic, there has been reported hiccups with the technology and even Teslas have reported hitting bicycles while performing the task. Chances are you will hardly ever use this expensive feature as its time consuming, and if you live in a city you can perform this task much faster.
What even is a brake drying system? Car manufacturers are figuring out ways to keep your brakes dryer when driving in wet conditions. According to The Car Connection, there are a few different ways cars are getting their brakes dry. Mercedes applies light pressure to brakes to dry the discs, while Cadillac uses vibrations to keep their rotors dry. The traditional slowing down when the roads are wet seems to be a safer way to tackle this issue.
Cars that would drive themselves seem crazy, right? Super Cruise is already exists and is available on the 2018 Cadillac CT6, which is a hands-free assistance technology that allows the driver to remove hands from wheel and having the car take over. According to Cadillac, the CT6 will drive all on its own until its abilities will allow it and then will alert the driver to take over when it no longer can. It is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane assist technology along with a technology that tracks where your head is to ensure your eyes are still on the road.
Nothing is worse than a bad blind spot on a vehicle. Honda LaneWatch technology was designed to help see around those dangerous blind spots. The system is put into motion when you put your blinker on, or by manually pressing the LaneWatch button. This then will trigger the side cameras and display a view of your vehicles surrounds on the navigation screen. According to Automotive News review, the driver found it very distracting and even unsafe.
Most new vehicles come with PSI sensors that will let you know if one of your tire pressure is low. Nissan has taken things one step further, designing an option that makes it easier to fill a low tire. According to The Drive, while filling your tire the vehicle lets you know when the tire is properly filled the horn will go off. If you happened to overfill the tire, your lights will flash three times. If you don’t know how to properly check and fill your tires, you probably shouldn’t be driving a vehicle.
Sources: CarandDriver.com, ConsumerReports.com, Hagerty.com