5 convenient tech features you want in your vehicle

SOCIAL MEDIA TEXT: While some vehicle technology is designed to keep you safe, other tech is all about comfort and convenience. The following are five options to consider when purchasing your next vehicle. Metro News Service photo

Technology has dramatically changed the way people live, and has increasingly changed how they drive as well. While power windows were once coveted as high-tech features, the sophisticated technology available in modern cars and trucks can make earlier tech seem like child’s play.

While some vehicle technology is designed to keep you safe, other tech is all about comfort and convenience. The following are five options to consider when purchasing your next vehicle.

1. Telematics: Telematics is a system that can remotely monitor many components of a vehicle’s diagnostics and driver behavior. While this telecommunications technology already is implemented in delivery, towing and public transportation industries, it can be utilized in the private market to track live weather conditions, traffic, parking lot information, fuel consumption and battery power.

2. Cooled seats: While most drivers are familiar with heated seats, many vehicles now come equipped with cooled seats as well. These seats can make it more comfortable to drive on hot days and improve air flow in the car as they work in conjunction with vehicle HVAC systems. Cooled seats can be expensive and will add weight to a vehicle, so they may be best for heavy sedans, SUVs and light trucks.

3. Wireless phone charging: Electronic devices have been going wireless for years, and the newest crop of wireless tech is wireless phone chargers. The online tech resource CNET says wireless charging pads have become ubiquitous in offices and homes, but now they’re becoming useful tools inside cars. Portable charging pads can plug into the automobile auxiliary power DC outlet. For example, the X-Doria Defense Helix wireless car charging mount with RoboGrip has powered “robotic” arms that automatically open when you place your phone near the charger and then clamp shut after you dock it. Wireless charging pads are built into vehicles manufactured by Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz, and may soon be standard technology on more cars and trucks.

4. Apple CarPlay: Mobile phone users tend to fall into two distinct camps: those who prefer iPhones and those who rave about Android offerings. Many car manufactures have realized consumers want CarPlay (and Android Auto) built standard into their vehicles. These apps allow drivers to access their most-used apps conveniently without an extra learning curve for manufacturer-specific driver assist apps.

5. Second- and third-row USB ports: USB ports for second- and third-row passengers is essential when moving an SUV full of kids or taking a road trip with the family.

Various vehicle tech features can improve comfort and convenience in modern cars and trucks.

In Other News