Under The Hood

12 car technologies to transform your life on the road

Safety Tech


  1. Back up camera

In May of 2018 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has mandated that all new vehicles must have a backup camera, and for good reason. The moment a driver shifts into reverse, a backup camera provides them with a live view of what is behind them. This essential  feature helps to prevent backup crashes, and improves safety for both the driver and those around them.


2. Blind Spot Awareness

Those of us from the midwest know the struggle of snow covered back windows. This leads to compromised vision, especially when it comes to blind spots. The blind spot awareness function provides drivers with a warning in their side mirror when another vehicle is outside their field of view. Investing in this tech is a surefire way to prevent lane changing accidents.


3. Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic braking is a feature which is becoming increasingly common, and is even a mandated technology in certain vehicle brands. In the event of a potential collision, the braking function will be activated in order to completely stop or slow a vehicle to prevent accidents. It works by combining sensors and brake controls.

The following are common car brands that include this technology:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Ford
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

At Swap Motors, we make it easy to find vehicles with safety tech. Simply log onto the marketplace buying feature, select the vehicle you would like to learn more about, and scroll to the specification/options section to find out more.

4. Lane Departure

Lane departure warning systems are just as they sound. When a vehicle drifts over into another lane the driver is notified and sometimes corrected. The system works via a camera that is attached to the windshield.

There are three types of lane departure systems:

  • Lane Departure Warning  provides an audible or visual notification when a vehicle enters another lane.
  • Lane Keep Assist makes the correction to recenter the vehicle if a driver doesn’t react to the warning.
  • Lane Centering Assist continuously makes corrections to keep the vehicle centered without giving the driver any warning.

The type of lane departure system and the name changes based on the automaker.

Comfort Tech


5. Remote Start

The best part of remote start is being able to get into a warm car in the middle of winter. Remote start works through wireless transmission, and with a simple click of a button it is possible to start a car’s engine from a distance to begin warming it before you even get in.

Remote start can also be useful during the summer months. When outdoor temperatures reach 80-100 degrees, your car can run up to 30 degrees warmer. In this weather, remote start can help to cool a vehicle down prior to entry.

You can purchase and install a remote start on your own, but you can skip this costly process by purchasing a car with the feature already built in.


6. Bluetooth and Wifi LTE Connection

For many of us the main benefit of phone to car bluetooth connection is the ability to stream our own music. No more flipping between radio stations to find the perfect song, or listening to never ending ads.

The benefits to a bluetooth connection don’t stop there. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to make phone calls and send text messages hands free. Some vehicles even allow a bluetooth connection to act as keys, which gives a user the ability to unlock or start their car via their smartphone.

It is also becoming increasingly common for car manufacturers to offer wifi and LTE 4G  connections in their vehicles. Multiple passengers can connect to this service to avoid spotty connections, burning through their data plan, and draining their phone battery.


7. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Being constantly connected via our smartphones has become a priority for many of us, but using them on the road can lead to serious consequences. CarPlay and Android Auto allows for select apps to be displayed on a vehicles built in display. Tasks such as sending messages, changing a song, and getting directions can be accomplished via voice commands.

Apple CarPlay currently offers more than 500 models of cars that can accommodate the system, most of which are available in the marketplace.

8. Wireless Charging

No more tangled cords, or dead smartphones. Manufacturers such as Cadillac, Chevrolet, Audi, Mercedes and Toyota are beginning to offer wireless charging ports in vehicles.

Smartphone compatibility varies by vehicle. More information for Apple users can be found here.

Emerging Trends


9. Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communication

Picture this - you are on the freeway going 60mph when the car in front of you slowly starts to apply their brakes. You are still a ways away and plan to switch lanes soon to get around the slowing traffic. You check your blindspot, when you look back the car in front of you has come to a complete stop and you have to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting them.

With V2V communication it is easier than ever to avoid this type of mistake. This developing technology allows vehicles to receive signals on speed, position, and potential hazards from all directions. Warnings come in visually, physically, and audibly from other vehicles surrounding a driver. With the implementation of this technology, drivers will be increasingly aware of what’s around them, ultimately helping them to avoid accidents.

V2V currently exists in select Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and is being developed by other manufacturers including GM, BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Daimler.


10. Self Parking

Parking can be rough, especially on narrow city streets. With self parking technology, all a vehicle operator needs to do is press a button. From parallel to remote parking, this technology is capable of assisting a driver in even the most difficult parking situations.

Self parking can’t be completely taken over by the vehicle itself. The driver must still shift gears, and utilize the brake when alerted. The computer system is there to control the wheel, and maneuver the car into the space.

Drivers can avoid car damage, stress, and traffic issues by investing in this feature.


11. Night Vision

Driving at night leads to compromised vision, especially in weather conditions such as blizzards and pouring rain. It’s hard to see the lines on the road, let alone a deer running in front of the vehicle.

Night vision, which uses thermographic imaging, assists drivers in identifying humans and animals in front of them. The system is typically located on the dashboard, and is available in various Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, and Maybach models.


12. Automated Driving System

Self driving cars are becoming increasingly common. Basic car functions such as steering and braking can be taken over by these systems. Similar to other auto technology, automated driving systems work through a combination of sensors, cloud computing, and algorithms. While it is still essential that the driver be present and alert in the vehicle, this tech improves safety on the roads by eliminating human error.

Tesla and Google are paving the way for self driving cars, and it is estimated that this technology will be widespread by 2020.

You might be wondering how to find these features when searching for a vehicle through Swap Motors. While many of the emerging trends are still in the process of development, other technologies listed are readily available. If you know that heated seats and automatic start are must haves in your next vehicle, we are here to help.

In the marketplace, you will find a left toolbar with the option to select a variety of factors such as a vehicle’s make, year, mileage, and more. Once you’ve selected a car, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to find all of the vehicle’s specifications. This is where to find the technology the model has to offer.

If you’re having trouble finding what you are looking for, get in touch with us, or visit us at the Swap Center. We are happy to help!

From cars talking to other cars to smartphone keys, it can be hard to keep up on the emerging trends of the digital age. Stay informed with Car Tech information on Swap Motor’s blog.