Editor's choice
21 Jun 19

Top 10 innovative car features for 2019

Just when you think you’ve seen it all and there is nothing much to improve, a new automotive feature is presented and makes you wonder why nobody thought of it before. Other recent innovations were just waiting for the right technology to come along. Here is what Fleet Europe selected for you as fleet-relevant must-haves on your company cars.

1. Tesla: Sentry Mode detects suspicious movement around the car

The vehicle’s surround cameras detect any suspicious movement when the car is parked. If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, the car alarm goes off and the owner is warned through the app. A video recording of the incident can be downloaded.  

2.    Range Rover Evoque: Clear Sight Rear View

A rear-facing camera in the shark fin roof antenna feeds high-definition images onto the rear-view mirror. The driver’s view remains unrestricted by passengers or cargo in the back, while his field of vision is virtually widened. Also, it offers better visibility in low light conditions.

3.    Audi A4: Traffic Light Information

This new Audi receives information from the traffic light central computer so that the driver can adjust the speed to match the next green light. The instrument cluster displays a personal speed recommendation as well as the remaining time to the next green light whenever the driver is waiting at a red traffic light.

4.    Hyundai Santa Fe & Nexo: Blind-spot View Monitor

Wide-angle surround view monitors on each side of the vehicle capture areas that cannot be seen by a conventional rear- or side-view mirror and feed these images onto the driver’s display when he activates the turn indicator.  

5.    Skoda Scala: Ice scraper in the fuel filler flap with tyre tread depth gauge

The Czech OEM has a reputation to uphold when it comes to simply clever solutions. This ice scraper integrated in the fuel filler flap is practical as such, but also comes with a bonus: a tyre tread depth gauge. Simple yet brilliant.

6.    BMW 1-Series: ARB wheel slip control to eliminate understeer

As BMW’s compact hatch makes the transition to front wheel drive, it receives a thing called ARB to instantly curb any power understeer normally experienced in FWD cars. That should guarantee a much more neutral cornering behaviour.

7.    2020MY VW Passat: ACC with predictive cruise control

The new predictive Adaptive Cruise Control uses information from the navigation system and Dynamic Road Sign Display to adapt the cruise speed proactively before reaching bends, roundabouts, junctions, towns and areas with a lower speed limit.

8.    2020MY Renault Zoe: B Mode one-pedal driving

The revamped electric city car now features what sister company Nissan calls e-Pedal. When you flip the drive mode to “B”, you can drive the car without having to use the brake pedal. The regenerative braking force is such that releasing the accelerator brings the car to a full stop.

9.    Volvo, BMW, Ford, Mercedes: traffic hazard data sharing

Four rival OEMs as well as HERE Europe and TomTom, plus government ministries from the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Germany and Luxembourg are teaming up in a pilot project to share live hazard alerts, such as slippery roads.

10.    Renault & Nissan: Two-way charging for smart grid applications

Using two-way Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging technology, the vehicles recharge when plugged in with cheap, abundant electricity, but at times of peak demand, the EVs release electricity back into the grid. The EV owner earns money, the grid operator benefits from balance and storage capacity for renewable energy.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier