Today's cars are like smartphones on wheels

Today's cars are like smartphones on wheels

We're all getting used to our homes getting smarter but our cars are too.

From preventing accidents to parking and driving themselves, today's car is like a giant smartphone on wheels.

For cool cars, it's hard to top Knight Riders' wise-talking sidekick, KITT.

"When we think back to the '80s, some of that technology that seemed world's away is slowly but surely finding its way onto the market," says Volvo national manager Coby Duggan.

Volvo's latest innovation uses a Microsoft wristband to communicate.

Clever cars are everywhere. Telsa has just announced its model S and X vehicles can open the garage, park themselves and shut down. You don't even have to be in the car.

Ford's integrating with Amazon Echo, so the car can be controlled from the kitchen table.

Online access is now seen as increasingly essential for even the most affordable of cars.

In fact, in five years' time, buying a car without a built-in internet connection could be like buying a laptop without Wi-Fi.

Jaguar Land Rover is soon to release technology that taps the driver and rings a bell inside the car to avoid bike collisions. It's also testing a camera system that makes the trailer of a caravan appear transparent.

"The blind spot when you've got a trailer or caravan behind you is obviously quite large, so the fact you can see through it will have enormous benefits to Kiwi motorists," says Jaguar Land Rover product manager Paul Ricketts.

The future of cars is self-drive. The standard-production 2017 Mercedes E class is the first to get an autonomous driving licence for the US state of Nevada. It's an exciting future for motorists.

"Things like driving in heavy traffic, parking, are not really fun anyway, so if I can have a car that does all that but still allows me to have fun on the open road then I'm all for it personally," says motoring journalist Damien O'Carroll.

KITT suddenly seems old school after all.

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