Toronto, Ontario — January 2, 2017 — The Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) has compiled a list of some of the most notable car tech of 2016, including new tech from VW that allows you to control various systems with the wave of a hand, Acura’s advanced cockpit technology and headlights that use actual computer controlled lasers.
CIAS takes place February 17 to 26, 2017, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. A statement from show management says that it’s not always the biggest or the flashiest innovations that make the list. Often it’s the smaller, more finessed inventions that stand out when it comes to automotive technology.
Advanced Gesture Control – Volkswagen
The VW Advanced Gesture Control feature allows for effortless infotainment control. Rather than physically turning knobs or pressing buttons, the control system allows you to wave your hand in the general vicinity of the dash to control volume, stations, or really anything your heart desires.
Advanced Navigation System – Harman
The Harman Advanced Navigation system not only tracks traffic, parking and road hazard information; it also uses traction control, stability and windshield wiper technology to identify when roads are wet or dangerous. Once one HAN user experiences poor driving conditions, the system will share the information with other HAN-equipped vehicles to avoid problem areas.
Precision Cockpit – Acura
The Precision Cockpit has dual LCD screens and precision tracking to mimic how autonomous cars think, while still giving the driver full control of the vehicle. The driver screen will show the vehicle’s speed, but also how the car sees and thinks–predicting potential hazards and notifying the driver before harm can come to anyone. The other LCD screen, located in the center of the dash, is far enough away that the driver is not distracted trying to touch it; instead, the trackpad by the gear shift controls the car’s temperature, music, etc.
The Touch Control Steering Wheel – Mercedes Benz E-Class
The Touch Control Steering Wheel essentially works like an iPhone. There are two sections on either side of the wheel that the driver can swipe to control the menu. This technology was developed to reduce distracted driving risks.
Perfect Position Seat – Lincoln
Long drives got you down? Fear no more. The Perfect Position Seat is guaranteed to mold to any body shape or weight. As an added perk, the seat will not just warm your tush–it will cool and massage your body as you see fit. Have a problem area? The seat will address one side of your body while leaving the other side relaxed.
Rear Camera Mirror – Chevy Bolt
The new Rear Camera Mirror functions to eliminate vision barriers. The mirror creates a 180-degree view as if the driver is enclosed in a transparent vehicle.
DOT and FDA-Approved Headlights – Audi
The DOT and FDA-Approved Headlights on Audi’s R8 are actually lasers which produce sharp, focused light using sensors to detect oncoming cars or city lights. If detected, the lasers will adjust accordingly. DOT is, of course, the US Department of Transportation. You may recognize the FDA acronym as standing for “Food and Drug Administration,” another US governmental agency, and wondering why they’ve been asked to approve a headlighting system. It turns out that anything using a laser in the US has to get FDA approval due to radiation concerns. The high-beam assembly on Audi’s R8 is a Class II laser, which means “Hazard increases when viewed directly for long periods of time. Hazard increases if viewed with optical aids.” In other words, don’t stare directly into these for too long if you get one in the shop, and definitely don’t use a magnifying glass.