Every year new car models seem to contain more and more technology. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show this trend is very obvious, with all sorts of technical frills added to the motors on show. A number of tech innovations have caught my eye, some of which will improve your car driving performance and safety, though many are just for in-car entertainment.
The latest Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe uses a clever system incorporating GPS to pick gears in advance of varying road topography. The Wraith uses an eight-speed automatic gear box and this is assisted by the built in GPS which looks at factors such as road incline and tightness of bends in the road to smoothly pick the optimum gear. Rolls calls this Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology.
In addition to the automatic gearbox enhancements the car also has voice activated controls, which Rolls calls the “on-board valet”. The in car master screen is controlled by the “elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller” which has multi-touch controls and hand writing recognition.
The 6.7 litre V12 petrol 624bhp Wraith can reach 60mph in 4.4 seconds. The car should deliver fuel economy of 20.2mpg but will cost you about €245,000 when it is made available later in the year.
Ferrari includes Apple powered in-car entertainment
iPad minis and Siri voice integration will feature in the new Ferrari FF four-seater car. iOS 6 software system “Eyes Free” will let drivers interact with the Apple tech while keeping their eyes on the road. Meanwhile passengers in the two back seats will each be faced with their own infotainment system in the shape of two iPad minis built-into the headrests in front of them.
Not the FF but “LaFerrari, unveiled at Geneva
Ferarri chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo said that his company and Apple are currently in talks about “broadening a partnership on in-car entertainment”. Also notably, Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president overseeing online services, joined the Ferrari board last year reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
Volvo cars with built-in cyclist detection technology and Spotify
A new safety feature coming to Volvo cars uses a combination of camera, radar and control unit to apply your brakes and avoid knocking over cyclists. Volvo says the new cyclist detection is an extension to its already proven detection and auto braking technology.
“By covering more and more objects, situations and possible collisions, we reinforce our world-leading position within automotive safety. We keep moving towards our long-term vision to design cars which do not crash,” said Volvo Senior vice president Doug Speck.
From May this year Volvo will be offering the option to fit “Spotify-infused Sensus Connected Touch systems” in all new Volvo cars and also some older car models from 2011 onwards. The music streaming service will be voice controlled, so you can keep your eyes safely on the road. The Volvo dashboard system is Android based so it wouldn’t have been that much of a technical feat for Volvo to get this built-in.
Pascal de Mul, Global Head of Hardware Partnerships at Spotify said “We know that the car is the number one environment in which people want to listen to music, so we are working to make Spotify available for drivers in as many types of car as possible”.
Ford and Spotify showed off a similar in-car system at MWC Barcelona last week. Check out the noisy video above.