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Features you should be looking for in your next car

Blind Spot Monitor

by Jonathan Kevin Castillo

Cars these days have fantastic features that were dreamed of way back in the ‘80s. Now with all the breakthroughs and advancements in technology, things are coming more of a reality than sci-fi. The following attributes were designed for optimum safety. And just like what they say, safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy.

Blind Spot Monitor
This is a safety mechanism in cars that notifies the driver if there are other vehicles in the sides or in the rear. Notifications come in different forms, such as sound, vibration, lights, and so on. We recommend lights, because wheel vibrations or beeping sounds are increasingly annoying, especially traffic here in the Philippines.

Collision Avoidance System
A safety system implemented on several cars that alerts the driver of high-possibility crashes. It usually has three stages. In the first stage, lights will go up. Then light brakes and tightening of seatbelts happen to grab the driver’s attention. The final stage is when there is gradual braking until the vehicle comes to a full stop just a few feet from the estimated crash location. But even if your car is equipped with such feature, you can’t always expect this to save your skin. So please, do take care while taking your car for a spin.

Automatic Parking
Imagine a car that parks by itself without the aid whatsoever from the driver. It aligns and parks all by itself carefully and skillfully if I may add. A feature that is totally convenient for the driver, especially where parking spaces are scarce and difficult to manoeuver – some of us may not admit it, but some do feel that the hardest part of driving is parking and for those who do feel that way, consider this feature with your new car.

Run-Flat Tire
This particular car technology has already been around for quite a time; although it hasn’t received that much attention as it deserves. Basically, this is a type of tire that will be able to support a running vehicle even when flat. It also has this really neat self-healing feature that closes up small punctures from screws or nails. This is more than enough to get you by until you reach home or a tire service center. We would like to point out that just because this tire heals itself, it doesn’t mean it would be able to sustain too much damage. So, better keep the tire abuse to a minimum as possible.

Active Cornering Headlights
Switching and adjusting the headlights can be quite tricky. This feature adjusts the headlamps based on the car’s position so it’s always lighting your way correctly. It also automatically adjusts the lights sidewards during a sharp turn. This feature is quite useful in cases where someone would just start crossing the street in a curve. Rest assured you will be able to see them immediately. This feature has been around for some time already and it only improves more and more as time passes.

Advanced Keyless Entries
Tired of misplacing your keys every now and then? Or digging deep and searching through your pocket contents for the car keys? And it sure is a hassle to unlock cars by the noisy alert system or the usual unlocking method. Some cars even have a push-button ignition to start their vehicles. Definitely an easier and faster way to get into a car and start it up; gets the car going in no time.

Hydrophobic Windows
Sometimes when it is raining cats and dogs, visibility in front of our windshields and windows are cut. This could really be annoying and outright dangerous! More so, if your wipers aren’t up to it; hence, creating a bigger problem. Some situations get worse if you are driving on a rainy night and cars from the opposite lane have blaring lights. This soon-to-come window technology is designed to increase visibility during these heavy rains. It is believed that rainwater will slide easily down the window preventing zero visibility when driving.

Lane Departure System
This is a mechanism in cars that alerts a driver whenever they go off the lane. This feature guides drivers to stay in their lane, preventing possible collisions with other vehicles on the other lane. Some mechanisms sound an alert, which is very useful when the driver is slightly falling asleep during a late drive. The only time the alert will not light up or sound, is when the signal light is switched on. A Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicle has vibrating steering wheels, which is probably less annoying than a buzzer, and still carry out the same effect.

This is another soon-to-come feature, which allows up to four drivers to customize their parameters. This includes side mirror adjustments, temperatures, seat, radio, and so on. This is great for people who share a single car. No more re-adjusting everything when it’s your turn to take the wheel.

Automatic Brake System
With the unpredictable traffic in Manila, it is quite common for Filipino drivers to just step and hold on to the brakes whenever there is a need to stop either for a few seconds or even longer rather than shifting gears to park. Some cars are equipped with an automatic break system that holds the brakes up to ten minutes on its own.