Ten Technologies That Define Modern Cars

Illustration for article titled Ten Technologies That Define Modern Cars

These are the things that define the car of today.


10.) Key Fobs/Push Button Everything

Illustration for article titled Ten Technologies That Define Modern Cars

How many new cars are opened or started with a key anymore? As long as you've got that little fob on your person, you don't ever need to reach into your pocket or purse to get moving.

Suggested By: Bullitt417, Photo Credit: Honda


9.) Electric Power Assist Steering

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In the quest for more fuel efficiency and safety, many automakers are moving away from hydraulic to electric power assist steering (EPAS). Cars with EPAS will save around 1 MPG, and allow manufactures to implement active safety systems like lane keeping assist.

For better or for worse, it's a massive shift in the way cars drive. Check out Car & Driver for an excellent write up of Hydraulic vs. Electric steering.

Suggested By: 4 cam torino, Photo Credit: Porsche


8.) Smartphone Integration

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As the smartphone become ubiquitous, they're presence in cars increased as well. First it was audio and Bluetooth, and now it's going to be complete integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Suggested By: nermal, Photo Credit: Volkswagen


7.) Digital Gauges

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Digital gauges offer a flexibility that analog gauges couldn't even hope to match. Some cars use a combination of both, and some have gone full LCD, but either way, digital displays have found a permanent home in the gauge cluster.

Suggested By: Tipo Stradale Fever, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz


6.) Direct Injection

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Multi-port is so 1990s. In a direct injection motor, fuel goes directly into the combustion chambers, instead of having to go through the intake manifold first.

What does that mean for you? More power and fuel efficiency. This is why modern engines are so amazing.

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Suggested By: Stapleface, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz


5.) Lightweight Materials

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Even with the increase of size and amount of technology modern cars have, they're actually losing weight from generation to generation. Aluminum and carbon fiber are the new steel.

Suggested By: WarShrike, Photo Credit: McLaren


4.) Infotainment

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What was once a novelty in high end cars is now a hugely important part of most new cars sold today. You can get directions, play music from a variety of sources, find out about restaurants, send tweets, see behind you, and control the HVAC all on one screen.

Suggested By: As Du Volant, Photo Credit: Volvo


3.) Active Safety

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How do we make cars safer? Remove the human variable. Volvo wants there to be no fatalities in their cars by the end of this decade, and shockingly, it doesn't seem all that far fetched.

Suggested By: Jared87, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz


2.) Turbocharging

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Turbos used to only find home in performance cars and diesels, but soon turbos are going to be everywhere. Their usage satisfies the increasing demand for both performance and fuel efficiency.

Suggested By: JoeBryant, Photo Credit: Porsche


1.) Crash Protection

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Crash protection is one of the most important considerations in car design, and literally shapes the cars we drive today. Modern cars have to withstand a beating, so they become larger and more complex.

That added size and complexity then creates a need for added lightness and horsepower, and even for things like reverse cameras and blind spot monitoring.

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Suggested By: Capitan Intenso, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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Top Photo Credit: Volvo

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DISCUSSION

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BlazinAce - Doctor of Internal Combustion

My daily has none of these... I'm officially in the past!

EDIT: Except maybe for a dash of lightweight materials in strategic areas.