The 1964 James Bond Aston Martin DB5 sports car in the Goldfinger series was equipped with numerous hidden features that would be impossible to imagine on a regular car. All these technical tricks came in handy for the special agent, helping him out in difficult situations: a hidden phone, a radar tracker, rotating license plates, front turrets, scythes on rims and the famous ejector seat.
In modern cars of both premium and budget segments, functionality is mainly focused on safety, increasing driving comfort. Technologies that were previously only available in luxury cars have become commonplace, even for budget models.
The automotive industry is an industry where technologies are quickly introduced, “run in”, and develop rapidly. Rearview cameras, navigation devices, and touchscreen displays, which have become standard features in modern vehicles, provide drivers and passengers with safe, comfortable journeys and journeys.
Many buyers today are looking for features such as adaptive cruise control, smartphone integration for hands-free driving, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. And this is only a small part of the technological functionality of a modern car. And how many possibilities of their vehicle the drivers do not even suspect or do not know how they work!
Below are 20 features that most car owners are not aware of.
Umbrella storage niche
The umbrella can be uncomfortable even when folded and takes up precious space in the car – it is best to store it in the trunk. But if it suddenly starts to rain, the driver who parks his car outside the store gets wet in a few seconds. Therefore, there is no time to open the trunk to get an umbrella.
Car manufacturer Skoda has a solution – an umbrella hidden in the door panel. Here he is not only visible but also easily accessible. This feature is also found in Rolls-Royce, which costs significantly more than Skoda.
For many years, the Volkswagen Beetle was equipped at the factory with a tiny flower vase that was installed on the dashboard. It’s not clear what prompted the inclusion of the accessory in the package. It is noteworthy, but for its intended purpose (storage of bouquets of flowers), the vase was rarely used – it often contained cosmetics and small accessories. They were always at hand, easily removed from the vase if necessary.
Adaptive interior lighting
This function is increasingly included in the equipment of cars as a basic or additional function.
It provides soft lighting for the center console, door handles, cup holders. On some SUVs, lighting is mounted under the sills.
Car owners are aware of this feature but are unaware of the possibility of color change, which creates a corresponding atmosphere in the cabin.
Although the adaptive interior lighting does not improve safety, it emphasizes the style of the interior, the materials from which it is assembled. This is soothing and positive for the driver. Therefore, adaptive lighting can be classified as a passive safety device.
The magic of the seats
Many fuel-efficient vehicle owners are unaware of the feature that increases cargo space. It may exceed the area of the trunk of a hatchback. The Honda Civic and Jazz have the Magic Seat system, which allows the rear seat bases to be upright – this frees up space from the floor of the car to the ceiling, which makes it possible to transport things that would not fit in a car with standard seats.
For example, the Honda Civic and Jazz are ideal for transporting a small bike, sun loungers, large suitcases, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, or a small potted plant (of course, not all at the same time).
Brake disc drying system
When driving through puddles or in rain, moisture gets on the brake discs of the car. This can provoke slippage of the brake pads, which increases the braking distance and increases the risk of an emergency.
BMW is installing a brake disc drying system on its vehicles to improve driving safety. Activated by a rain sensor, it moves the brake pads closer to the brake discs, keeping them dry and improving performance in wet conditions.
Tire pressure monitoring
Optimal tire pressure increases tire life, increases fuel efficiency, and reduces accidents. Most drivers are unaware that their vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It has been installed on all foreign cars since 2008 and warns of a pressure drop of 25%.
At the same time, swapping is a routine, tedious process that requires precision. The next step for car manufacturers should be a system that regulates tire pressure itself.
Traffic light change alert
Waiting for the green light seems like an eternity to drivers. To distract themselves from the tedious waiting, they come up with entertainment, finish unfinished business or start new ones. Oftentimes, these activities are addicting, and the driver misses the long-awaited green signal.
Subaru has developed a solution to this problem. A feature in the EyeSight safety system tells the driver when to start driving. An audible signal warns the busy driver to get underway.
Microsleep is a short-term sleep state that occurs while driving, even if the eyes remain open. Many find it difficult to determine when to stop the car to rest or have a coffee.
Several car companies, including Mercedes, Volvo and Nissan, have developed drowsiness detection systems to prevent accidents resulting from drowsy driving.
Volvo’s reversing camera system scans the driver, monitors eye and head movements, detecting the onset of sleep. When it detects symptoms of a dangerous condition, it gives a signal to the driver. In Mercedes vehicles, the steering wheel vibrates when the driver swerves. The system then guides the car back into the lane.
Anti-lock braking system
Almost all car owners are aware of the existence of such a system but have no idea how it works. ABS speed sensors determine if one or more wheels can lock during braking. If a blockage is detected, hydraulic valves are activated to limit the braking force on the wheel.
ABS is only triggered when driving through slippery road sections, during an emergency stop – this prevents slipping and maintains steering control. In the US, ABS is mandatory for all new vehicles built after September 1, 2000.
Built-in vacuum cleaner
According to the calculations of various specialized organizations, car owners annually spend huge sums on washing and cleaning the interior. The reason is the lack of comfortable conditions for self-cleaning. It is very inconvenient to roll out of the garage or take the vacuum cleaner out of the house every time for cleaning, so many drivers prefer to use the services of car washes.
Honda Odyssey solves this problem – the designers have included a hidden built-in vacuum cleaner in the design of the car. Its long hose reaches the farthest corners of the cabin. It is a practical solution for those who strive to maintain constant cleanliness.
Fuel economy is a trend in the modern automotive industry. For most buyers, gasoline or diesel consumption plays an important role. But they don’t know how the economy increases. Aluminum structures are one of the main elements here. This metal is not inferior in strength to steel, but much lighter, which reduces the weight of the car, and with it, the fuel consumption.
For 2015, Ford’s new full-size pickups are 317kg lighter than the previous year’s F-series. This was driven by Ford’s switch from heavier steel structures and claddings to lighter, stronger aluminum. Ford officials said the new F-150s are 5-29% more fuel-efficient than the previous generation.
Autopilots are still in the testing phase. But some of their functions are actively used by the snake. There are systems that regulate the speed and, if necessary, turn independently. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) tested. They increase safety by keeping the car in its lane without slowing down.
Both technologies use cameras mounted behind the windshield to track lane markings. The LDW system uses an audible warning or vibration to notify the driver of lane departure. LKAS applies a physical steering correction to automatically keep the vehicle within the lane.
Electronic stability control
Most drivers are unaware of when Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is activated on their vehicle. This is indicated by a momentarily illuminated indicator on the dashboard.
When the sensors detect that the car is taking a turn too wide, risking being thrown off the road, ESC applies the brakes on one or more wheels to control the movement of the car. The function is activated not only during tight turns but also when the tires hit a wet or icy road.
Fuel tank indicator
Those who recently bought a car do not know which side the fuel filler neck is on. Therefore, at the gas station, they spend time looking for it. Manufacturers solve this problem by drawing a miniature arrow on the fuel gauge that indicates which side the tank is on.
Road condition indicators
Modern cars, in addition to engine alarms and door sensors, are equipped with control elements that report dangerous driving conditions. This is a light signal made in the form of a road with a snowflake. The road condition is monitored by a sensor located under the front bumper so that it is not affected by the engine temperature.
Many car owners do not know about all the capabilities of the computer technology installed on the car. Some functions are invisible and are activated without the driver’s knowledge, while others, such as parking assistance, are so useful that it is difficult to imagine that the driver would decide not to use them. For example, parallel parking. This maneuver can be tricky even for experienced drivers, so why not let your computer do it?
Downhill Assist is an option that automatically prevents the vehicle from accelerating while descending. In parallel, some systems use sensors to detect bicycles, pedestrians and other obstacles that appear on the road. Automatic emergency braking systems help avoid collisions if the driver does not react in time.
Hidden storage niches
Car manufacturers spend a tremendous amount of time improving fuel efficiency as well as managing space. Many vehicles have hidden pockets. For example, the Dodge Journey has a hidden compartment under the passenger seat, as well as two pockets with removable storage boxes under the floor behind the front row of seats. Land Rover Discovery has valuable storage space behind the climate control panel.
This is perhaps one of the most useful devices invented by humans. They are used everywhere, including in the car. Some of the hooks are not visible to the driver. And if he finds them, then the purpose of these elements remains a mystery.
Hooks are often used in SUV trunks. Bags are hung on them, which prevents the purchases from tipping over. This is especially true for products. Other hooks prevent the load from rotating in the cargo area. They can be found behind the front seats, above the rear doors and on the ceiling.
Interior view mirror
Manufacturers of many minivans and some crossovers place a small convex mirror above the driver’s head – this provides a wider view than a standard rear-view mirror, makes it possible to observe rear-seat passengers, monitor children, and pets. But this useful element often remains out of sight, as it is installed in a niche in the ceiling. But the mirror will not help to see the approaching patrol car.
Improved sound insulation
Over the past few years, car manufacturers have made significant headway in providing interior soundproofing. This is ensured by noise suppression technologies, the addition of additional layers of special materials. They cover both engine mounts and suspension elements.
Bose Corporation is a leader in noise cancellation technology. The brand’s QuietComfort Road Noise Control (RNC) electronically reduces noise. Vehicle-mounted accelerometers continuously measure vibrations and vibrations that generate noise. Based on this data, Bose RNC technology projects an audio cancellation signal into the cockpit, using the vehicle’s sound system to reduce overall noise. The result is a pleasant ride in silence.
The structural elements described above really increase the comfort and safety of vehicle operation. But they are often not used, as they go unnoticed. Therefore, in order to maximize the functionality of the car, you should carefully study its equipment, features of systems management, layout.