General Automotive Features
The Most Useful General Automotive Features
The list of features that are expected to come standard with modern vehicles is always changing. Something that was a premium feature yesterday, found only on luxury cars, can become quite commonplace today, found in most commercial passenger cars, and even mandatory tomorrow, found in all cars. There have been examples of exactly this happening such as with anti-lock braking systems.
- ABS. Already mentioned, anti-lock braking systems have officially become mandatory in all American cars made after 2012. This is a very useful safety feature which allows the driver to retain better control of a car which is skidding, also allowing him to brake while still being able to steer the vehicle.
- Traction Control (TC). This is a system which has been developed as a direct result of ABS. It takes advantage of the sensors already in place which monitor the speed of each individual tire and determines when one of them is slipping because it will be turning faster than the others. Again, using the functions of the ABS, it can apply the brakes on only that tire until it regains traction to the ground.
- GPS navigation system. The days of looking at a map while driving are officially over thanks to GPS. This feature is capable of accurately detecting the exact position of a vehicle by using satellites and providing turn-by-turn directions to wherever the driver wants to go. The best part is that the accessibility of navigation systems has increased tremendously over the last recent years due to the popularity of smartphones which have the capabilities of functioning as GPS systems by simply installing an app.
- Airbags. This safety feature has undergone a lot of scrutiny detailing whether it is truly efficient or not at saving lives. Eventually, a consensus was reached that they are, indeed, useful and airbags became mandatory. However, most automakers choose to go beyond the minimum necessary and offer up to eight airbags per vehicle. Side airbags are especially useful. In the event of a frontal or rear crash, there are several feet of crush space between the vehicle occupants and the obstacle. In a side crash, however, that crush space is only a few inches.
- Air conditioning. Not all the best features have something to do with safety. Others are there purely for comfort. AC is present in most modern cars, despite not being essential and not even necessary in certain climates.