Volkswagen ID.3: “VW’s first fully electric car has been designed from the ground up and has been impressive straight out of the box. It gained the top scores in both the safety assist and child occupant protection categories, and its innovative side airbags protect far-side occupants in side impacts.”
What’s on the shortlist for the technology award?
The five innovations shortlisted for the What Car? technology award all have the potential to improve both vehicle and driver safety now and in the future. Matthew Avery gives his insight on each:
Android Auto operating system
This new breed of infotainment platform built into cars by car makers removes the reliance on potentially distracting touchscreens because the voice-activated Google Assistant is built into the car. It can also be upgraded via over-the-air updates.
Ford Kuga Lane-Keeping System with Blind Spot Assist
This new system monitors the driver’s blind spot for vehicles approaching from behind, and can apply gentle counter-steering force to warn the driver and discourage a lane change manoeuvre if a potential collision is detected.
Kia Blind Spot View Monitor
This advanced driver assistance system enhances safety on the Kia Sorento by eliminating a driver’s left and right-side blind spots. It displays a high-resolution video feed onto the instrument panel when the driver indicates to change lane and there is another vehicle in its blind spot. The video feed is generated by discreet wide-angle cameras in each of the door mirrors.
Tesla over-the-air updates
This technology wirelessly sends new features to Tesla vehicles that improve functionality, performance and safety. Tesla, which has faced criticism from Thatcham Research about the misuse of its Autopilot technology, has used OTA updates to make a raft of notable improvements to its vehicles during 2020, including the addition of vision-based speed assist capability, an interior camera to capture video clips prior to a collision or safety event, dash-cam viewer improvements and traffic light warnings.
Volvo Advanced Interior Air Cleaner
This air purification system removes harmful particulates from the Volvo’s interior to ensure occupants breathe clean air. Incoming air passes through an ioniser that pre-charges microscopic particles, which stick to a fibre-based filter that carries an opposite charge.
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